On Saturday, Governor Walker announced a series of proposals to invest $100 million into workforce development. Among them is an important reform to the Wisconsin FoodShare program that would provide an additional $33 million to worker training programs for able bodied adults without dependent children.
According to data from the Governor’s office, as of March 2012 Wisconsin provided 131,000 able-bodied adults without dependent children with food stamps. And if the Governor’s proposed reforms are adopted, approximately 76,000 (58%) of those able-bodied adults without dependent children would be required to enroll in job training programs to acquire new skills in order to find employment. Right now, just 6,000 of the 76,000 enrolled in the FoodShare program are voluntarily taking advantage of the job training.
Governor Scott Walker’s spokeswoman Jocelyn Webster told RightWisconsin, "We need to encourage a culture of responsibility and dignity through work." "We should be encouraging people who may need government assistance, toward work, self-sufficiency, and providing for themselves and their families," said Webster.
According to Governor Walker’s announcement on the reforms to the FoodShare program, "If able-bodied adults without dependent children choose not to enroll in these employment programs, they will be subject to federal time limits on nutrition assistance benefits." The new reforms would remain voluntary for adults with dependent children, the elderly, and people with disabilities.