ON-Lion Letter
The early excitement over Wisconsin's pathbreaking W-2 welfare-reform program, now in its 10th year of full operation, "has given way to the criticism and frustration that inevitably arise when one tries to translate ideas into practice.  The W-2 program, though, is now showing flaws in both ideas and practice," according to a March 2007 Wisconsin Policy Research Institute (WPRI) report by welfare-policy scholar David Dodenhoff.

"The most important change needed is to reinstate the primacy of work under W-2," concludes Dodenhoff, a WPRI senior fellow, in Five Ways to Fix Wisconsin's W-2 Program.  "Every able-bodied W-2 participant should be expected to work at least 20 hours per week.  This should be seen as the central feature of the contract between taxpayers and W-2 clients.  Part of that contract, too, should be stricter time limits on participation in program activities ....

"Finally," Dodenhoff continues, "the contract should include assurances from the state -- backed by contract performance standards, and verified through audits -- that client participation in work activities is being closely and accurately monitored."

The report also recommends the creation of a single administrative region in Milwaukee to be run by one private agency; currently, the city has five administrative regions.

The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation in Milwaukee provides substantial support to WPRI.
Actions: E-mail | Permalink |