2017 - 2018 LEGISLATURE
July 13, 2017 - Introduced by Senators Cowles,
Carpenter, Feyen, Hansen and L.
Taylor, cosponsored by Representatives Horlacher, Riemer, Allen,
Anderson, Berceau, Brandtjen, R. Brooks, Brostoff, Edming, Genrich,
Goyke, Hebl, Hintz, Jacque, Jagler, Kleefisch, Kolste, Krug, Mason,
Milroy, Mursau, Petryk, Ripp, Sinicki, Skowronski, Summerfield, C. Taylor,
Thiesfeldt and Vruwink. Referred to Committee on Transportation and
1An Act to amend
20.445 (1) (b) and 20.445 (1) (bm); and to create
49.162 (1) (c) 2
4. and 106.38 of the statutes; relating to: creating the Hire Heroes program
3to provide transitional jobs to veterans, granting rule-making authority, and
Analysis by the Legislative Reference Bureau
This bill requires the Department of Workforce Development to establish a
program to provide transitional jobs to veterans, in cooperation with the Department
of Veterans Affairs and Department of Children and Families. Under the bill, DWD,
DCF, and DVA are required to enter into a memorandum of understanding to
implement the program.
Under the new program, called “Hire Heroes” under the bill, a veteran is
eligible to participate if he or she is at least 18 years old, has been unemployed for
at least four weeks, is ineligible for the Wisconsin Works program, is a veteran as
verified by DVA, and passes the required drug screening tests. Under the bill,
preference for participation in the program will be given to veterans whose
household income is less than 60 percent of the state median household income.
Under the bill, an individual may participate in the program for up to 1,040
work hours. DWD compensates a participating employer for costs including a wage
subsidy, federal social security and Medicare taxes, state and federal unemployment
insurance contributions or taxes, and worker's compensation insurance premiums,
The bill requires DWD to commit up to $400,000 in each fiscal year in funding
for the program, and also requires DWD to prepare an annual report on the program
to be submitted to the governor, the appropriate standing committees of the
legislature, DCF, and DVA.
For further information see the state fiscal estimate, which will be printed as
an appendix to this bill.
The people of the state of Wisconsin, represented in senate and assembly, do
enact as follows:
20.445 (1) (b) of the statutes is amended to read:
(b) Workforce training
and veteran wage subsidies; programs, grants
As a continuing appropriation, the amounts in the schedule for the 4
apprenticeship completion award program under s. 106.05 (2), local youth 5
apprenticeship grants under s. 106.13 (3m), youth summer jobs programs under s. 6
106.18, employment transit assistance grants under s. 106.26, workforce training 7
grants and services under s. 106.27 (1), (1g), and (1r), and
career and technical 8
education incentive grants under s. 106.273, and the Hire Heroes program under s.
20.445 (1) (bm) of the statutes is amended to read:
(bm) Workforce training
and veteran wage subsidies;
Biennially, the amounts in the schedule for the administration of 13
the apprenticeship completion award program under s. 106.05 (2), the local youth 14
apprenticeship grant program under s. 106.13 (3m), the youth summer jobs program 15
under s. 106.18, the employment transit assistance grant program under s. 106.26, 16
the workforce training program under s. 106.27, and
the career and technical 17
education incentive grant program under s. 106.273, and the Hire Heroes program
18under s. 106.38
49.162 (1) (c) 4. of the statutes is created to read:
(c) 4. The Hire Heroes program under s. 106.38.
106.38 of the statutes is created to read:
3106.38 Hire Heroes program. (1) Definition.
In this section, “program” 4
means the Hire Heroes program established under this section.
The department shall establish a Hire Heroes program to 6
provide transitional jobs to veterans.
7(3) Program components
. The program under this section shall include all of 8
the following features and requirements:
(a) An individual may participate in the program for a maximum of 1,040 hours 10
(b) The employer of record shall pay the individual for hours actually worked 12
at not less than the federal or state minimum wage that applies to the individual.
(c) The department may reimburse an employer that employs an individual 14
participating in the program for a minimum of 20 hours per week at a location in this 15
state for any of the following costs that are attributable to the employment of the 16
individual under the program:
1. A wage subsidy that is equal to an amount negotiated between the 18
department and the employer, that is paid for each hour the individual actually 19
worked, not to exceed 40 hours per week, and that is not more than the federal or 20
state minimum wage that applies to the individual.
2. Federal social security and Medicare taxes.
3. State and federal unemployment insurance contributions or taxes, if any.
4. Worker's compensation insurance premiums, if any.
(d) An employer that employs an individual participating in the program may 25
pay the individual an amount that exceeds any wage subsidy paid to the employer
by the department under par. (c) 1., except that the employer or contractor must pay 2
the individual at least minimum wage.
(e) The employment of an individual under this section may not do any of the 4
1. Have the effect of filling a vacancy created by an employer terminating a 6
regular employee or otherwise reducing its work force for the purpose of hiring an 7
individual under this section.
2. Fill a position when any other person is on layoff or strike from the same or 9
a substantially equivalent job within the same organizational unit.
3. Fill a position when any other person is engaged in a labor dispute regarding 11
the same or a substantially equivalent job within the same organizational unit.
. (a) To be eligible to participate in the program, an individual 13
must satisfy all of the following criteria:
1. Be at least 18 years of age.
2. Be a veteran, as defined under s. 45.01 (12), who is verified by the department 16
of veterans affairs.
3. Be ineligible to participate in the Wisconsin Works program under ss. 49.141 18
4. Be unemployed for at least 4 weeks.
5. Satisfy all of the requirements related to substance abuse screening, testing, 21
and treatment under s. 49.162 that apply to the individual.
(b) Preference for participation in the program shall be given to individuals 23
whose household income is not more than 60 percent of the statewide median 24
household income, excluding service-connected disability benefits payments by the 25
U.S. department of veterans affairs.
1(5) Memorandum of understanding for administration.
The department of 2
children and families, the department of veterans affairs, and the department of 3
workforce development shall enter into a memorandum of understanding for the 4
purpose of administering this section. The memorandum of understanding shall 5
include all of the following:
(a) That the department of veterans affairs shall refer veterans to the program 7
and verify eligible veterans who apply for the program.
(b) That the department of workforce development shall allocate not more than 9
$400,000 each fiscal year from the appropriation account under s. 20.445 (1) (b) for 10
the purposes of funding the Hire Heroes program.
(c) That the department of workforce development shall be responsible for 12
administering the program.
(d) That the department of children and families, the department of veterans 14
affairs, and the department of workforce development shall each seek additional 15
federal funds to support the program.
(e) That the department of workforce development, department of children and 17
families, and department of veterans affairs shall, to the greatest extent possible, 18
implement the program to achieve all of the following: