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Public Assistance

Weakening Assistance for Families Would Weaken the Workforce

February 11, 2022 — The COVID pandemic and the recession it caused illustrated the tremendous importance of public benefit programs like BadgerCare, FoodShare, and Unemployment Insurance. Yet a number of Republican legislators are trying to hurriedly pass a package of bills that would weaken the sources of public assistance that have been so critical over the past two years in reducing the pandemic’s harm to workers, families and the economy.

TANF at 25: Failing to Meet the Needs of WI Families

August 19, 2021 — On August 22 of this year, the law creating the Temporary Assistance to Needy Families program (TANF) turns 25 years old, and that’s not a cause for celebration. At the national level and here in Wisconsin, TANF is serving only a small fraction of the families who are living in poverty and are eligible for assistance.

Opportunity Wasted: Legislature Removes Nearly All Items Promoting Racial Equity from the State Budget

July 2021 — On many different indicators, Wisconsin is at or very near the top in terms of the severity of racial inequities, and those gaps are holding back our state. Governor Evers’ budget contained a broad range of measures aimed at reducing the disparities in Wisconsin. However, the Republican-controlled legislature scrapped his budget and started fresh, and their budget removed almost all of the Governor’s initiatives to create a more level playing field for people of color in our state. 

A Few Weeks of Supplemental Unemployment Assistance Is No Substitute for Congressional Action

September 1, 2020 — Wisconsin has applied for the supplemental federal unemployment benefit recently authorized by executive actions taken by President Trump. Although the $300 per week supplemental payments will briefly provide some financial relief for thousands of Wisconsin families once the new program goes into effect, it will fall far short of the larger and longer-term supplemental assistance that expired in late July.

Federal Funding is Essential to Saving Wisconsin’s Economy and Public Services

July 14, 2020 — Without additional federal assistance, Wisconsin state and local governments will be forced to lay off teachers and other workers, cut important services like health care and education, and take other actions that would make the recession longer and more painful. These budget cuts would fall most heavily on families with low incomes and people of color, who have already been hit the hardest by the pandemic and the recession.