The Assembly has approved a package of ten bills that makes sweeping changes to state welfare programs.
The special session bills include increasing work requirements for FoodShare benefits and would put ID photos on FoodShare benefits cards. Others would block individuals who are behind on child support payments from Medicaid programs and require drug testing and treatment to obtain public housing assistance.
Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R-Rochester) said they are designed to increase accountability and stop fraud. “Our goal is to make sure people who are on benefits do it for a short amount of time, with the goal to be able to either get the training that they need or the job support to be able to find a way to support themselves or their family, without having a life time dependence on government.”
Democrats were largely silent during debate on the package of bills, which they have described as an election year gimmick. State Representative Lisa Subeck (D-Madison) accused the GOP of “taking a kick at poor people” to fire up their base, ahead of a tough election year.
No Democrats voted for the bills, which now head to the state Senate.