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Breaking with Tradition in Wisconsin: Nutritional Assistance

Over the next week, the Wisconsin Budget Project will be highlighting a different piece each day from our larger publication Breaking with Tradition: How Wisconsin Lawmakers Have Shortchanged a Legacy of Investment in the State’s Future. You can access the full report on our website.


Over the last four years, lawmakers have limited the number of people who could receive FoodShare assistance, also known as food stamps, by:

  • Prohibiting legal immigrants who have been in the U.S. for less than five years from receiving FoodShare. This move saved the state $380,000 a year, or about 0.003% of the state’s General Fund budget, and eliminated FoodShare benefits for 1,400 low-income residents;19 and
  • Requiring able-bodied adults who are not parents to work or participate in a work program in order to receive FoodShare benefits. This requirement is expected to reduce the number of people receiving FoodShare in Wisconsin by about 31,000. This move will reduce the amount of federal dollars coming into the state, and will actually cost Wisconsin an additional $8 million per year, due to the additional resources needed to administer the work program.20

You can access the rest of the report here.

19Analysis of figures from “Comparative Summary of Budget Recommendations: 2011 Act 32,” Legislative Fiscal Bureau, August 2011.
20“Comparative Summary of Provisions: 2013 Act 20,” Legislative Fiscal Bureau, August 2013.

Photo by Caden Crawford released under a Creative Commons No Derivatives license.

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WI Budget Project

WI Budget Project