|We've got NEWS|
|Tuesday, July 13, 1999 |
Tommy G. Thompson
News Media Contact
DWD News Office
For Immediate Release: July 13, 1999
Contact: Darrin Schmitz (608) 266-9806
Heidi Kafura (608) 264-6811
MADISON Gov. Tommy G. Thompson today announced that Iron, Jackson and Waushara Counties reported zero Wisconsin Works (W-2) or cash assistance cases in June, marking the first month three counties reported a zero caseload.
Gov. Thompson said the news confirms that W-2 is working and lifting the gates that trapped generations of families in a well of despair and dependency. Since Gov. Thompson first began his efforts to reform the welfare system, Wisconsins cash assistance caseloads have dropped by more than 91 percent the highest percentage reduction of any state in America.
"W-2 has clearly opened the door to newfound economic opportunities and freedom for thousands," Gov. Thompson said. "The people of Iron, Jackson and Waushara Counties join the growing ranks of remarkable families who are making the transition into self-sufficiency and independence by working. These families are true trailblazers."
The average wage for those leaving W-2 is $7.42 an hour more than $2 above the minimum wage. A family of three in W-2 is 30 percent above the poverty line at the current average wage of $7.42 an hour. On Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC), this same family was 30 percent below poverty.
In addition, while working under W-2, participants receive an extensive amount of support, including health care, child care, transportation, one-on-one job counseling, and education and training.
In September 1997, Wisconsin was the first state in the nation to scrap the failed AFDC program and replace it with the governors bold work-based W-2 program. The number of families on cash assistance has declined by more than 76 percent since W-2 began.
Gov. Thompson said W-2 requires work because the one way the only way to climb out of poverty is to work.