It’s a move in the right direction.
The state Legislature’s budget-writing committee voted on Thursday to require some Wisconsin residents using food stamps and receiving public health care to be tested for drug use and to meet work requirements in exchange for benefits.
The Joint Finance Committee, the state’s budget-writing panel, voted 12-4 to approve Walker’s plan that would make Wisconsin the first state in the nation to make drug tests mandatory for Medicaid recipients and would impose tests on adult food stamp recipients without dependent children seeking coverage through the state’s BadgerCare program.
Some parents with children over the age of 6 who are enrolled in the state’s FoodShare program, which administers federally funded food stamps in Wisconsin, also would be required to work or look for employment for at least 80 hours per month under another measure proposed by Walker that the panel approved Thursday. The work requirement currently only applies to FoodShare recipients without children.
The panel scaled back the governor’s proposal by applying the work requirement to parents using food stamps in certain regions of the state between April 2019 and June 2020 and not allowing the requirements to be applied statewide until an evaluation indicates it should be.