Gov. Scott Walker

Gov. Scott Walker has been pushing for a series of welfare bills that could get more welfare recipients working at a cost to taxpayers of nearly $90 million a year, plus millions more in start-up costs. Lawmakers in the Wisconsin State Legislature advanced those bills today.

On party-line votes of 5-3 – with all Republicans voting in favor and all Democrats against – the Assembly Committee on Public Benefit Reform approved all the proposals.

Walker’s 10 special session bills include one requiring able-bodied parents of children on food stamps to work or get training to receive more than three months of benefits and increasing the existing work requirement for all able-bodied adults from 20 hours a week to 30.

“These bills do nothing to address the needs of hard-working Wisconsin families who are living paycheck to paycheck and struggling to make ends meet,” state Rep. Lisa Subeck (D-Madison), ranking Democratic member on the Assembly Committee on Public Benefit Reform, said in a statement. “If Republicans were serious about helping working families, they would increase access to transportation and childcare, expand education and job training opportunities, and raise wages.

“Instead, Governor Walker and Republicans believe they can rile their base ahead of the 2018 election by demonizing those who need a little help, so they are all too willing to spend $90 million per year of taxpayer money plus millions more in start-up costs to do little more than kick struggling families when they are already down,” she added.