MEDIA ADVISORY: Heartland Institute Expert Testifying on Proposed Welfare Reforms in Wisconsin

Published January 31, 2018

ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, IL (January 31, 2018) – The Heartland Institute’s Government Relations Director John Nothdurft will testify today at a Joint Public Hearing of the Wisconsin Senate Committee on Public Benefits, Licensing and State-Federal Relations and the Assembly Committee on Public Benefit Wednesday, January 31, 2018 at 12:00 p.m. in Room 412 East, State Capitol. The hearing will cover Gov. Scott Walker’s (R) recent “Wisconsin Works for Everyone” announcement, calling for a special session on welfare reform.

In this announcement, Gov. Walker called to comprehensively overhaul Wisconsin’s welfare programs, such as FoodShare Wisconsin and FoodShare Employment and Training. Reforms would include work requirements, asset testing, photo IDs, and incentivizing businesses to expand training.

The following statement from Nothdurft’s testimony may be used for attribution. For more comments, refer to the contact information below. To book Nothdurft, or any other Heartland guest on your program, please contact Media Specialist Billy Aouste at [email protected] and 312/377-4000 or (cell) 847/445-7554.

“The challenge of welfare reform is creating a safety net that truly and effectively helps to lift people out of poverty without creating incentives for dependency on government aid. Welfare programs must provide temporary or supplemental assistance while encouraging work and independence, and programs are only successful if they give recipients the tools and motivation needed to live a financially self-sufficient life. Simply alleviating material poverty isn’t enough. Far too often, welfare programs create dependency on government rather than help people seek long-term self-sufficiency.

“The reforms implemented in Wisconsin in the 1990s helped to prove the effectiveness of work requirements and served as a template for the bipartisan Welfare Reform Act of 1996, which passed by a Republican-led Congress and signed into law by President Bill Clinton.

“The proposals offered here today would build on the successes Wisconsin has achieved in the past and would be a comprehensive and effective approach toward reducing government dependency, combating welfare fraud, and encouraging self-sufficency.”

John Nothdurft
Director of Government Relations
The Heartland Institute
[email protected]