LETTER: Restricting aid to the poor no way to build state’s workforce

To Ozaukee Press:

The League of Women Voters of Wisconsin agrees with Gov. Walker that employment in jobs that pay a living wage is the most effective means for families to move out of poverty and become contributing members of society.

However, the majority of people in Wisconsin who receive FoodShare assistance and other government benefits are people who already face substantial barriers to improved employment.

Many have disabilities that limit their options.

They may be single mothers with children and inadequate access to good child care.

They have chronic or acute health concerns that require frequent treatment regimens.

They lack access to good transportation to travel to work or to daycare or to medical appointments.

They lack modern skills to meet employers’ technical requirements.   

Increasing the bureaucratic compliance requirements is not the most humane, and certainly not the most efficient, way to help people train for and compete successfully for good jobs.  

Bills signed by Gov. Walker increase the barriers faced by struggling families by making it more difficult to qualify for food stamps and public housing, among other aid restrictions put on our poorest citizens.

Moreover, this misguided effort will cost Wisconsin taxpayers $80 million in lost federal assistance.

We encourage the Legislature to develop proposals that will expand training opportunities for the modern job market and provide dependable daycare for children of working parents below the poverty level.

Unemployment in Wisconsin is approaching historically low levels.

Employers and the government will have to work together to expand the labor force to meet the increasing demand for skilled employees.

This cannot be done by making it harder for low-wage workers to access supplements to their low wages.

It can only be done by expanding the opportunities for families to participate in the modern labor market.

The Legislature to take a new look at how to make it possible for more people to participate in building Wisconsin’s economy.

Ingrid Rothe
League of Women Voters  of Wisconsin



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Ozaukee Press

Wisconsin’s largest paid circulation community weekly newspaper. Serving Port Washington, Saukville, Grafton, Fredonia, Belgium, as well as Ozaukee County government. Locally owned and printed in Port Washington, Wisconsin.

125 E. Main St.
Port Washington, WI 53074
(262) 284-3494


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