2019 - 2020 LEGISLATURE
October 7, 2019 - Introduced by Representatives Subeck, Billings, Anderson,
Bowen, Brostoff, Haywood, Hebl, Hesselbein, Kolste, Ohnstad, Pope,
Sargent, Sinicki, Spreitzer, C. Taylor, Vruwink, Zamarripa and Stubbs,
cosponsored by Senators Johnson, Bewley, Carpenter, Larson, Miller and
L. Taylor. Referred to Committee on Housing and Real Estate.
1An Act to repeal
20.445 (1) (fc) and 106.15; to amend
16.306 (2) (a), 16.3085 (2) 2
(b) 2., 38.40 (2), 46.56 (14) (a), 49.143 (2) (a) 4m. e., 49.163 (4) (intro.), 49.265 3
(3) (b) 11., 49.265 (4) (a), 49.265 (4) (b), 49.265 (4) (c), 49.79 (9) (a) 1., 60.85 (7) 4
(a), 60.85 (7) (b), 66.1103 (6m), 66.1105 (6c) (a), 66.1105 (6c) (b), 71.07 (2dx) (a) 5
5., 71.07 (5r) (b) 2., 71.28 (1dx) (a) 5., 71.47 (5r) (b) 2., 76.636 (1) (e) 12., 85.20 6
(4m) (a) 8. b., 106.11, 106.13 (2), 106.16 (2), 106.27 (1m), 109.07 (1m) (a), 115.28 7
(24), 238.30 (4m) and 946.13 (10); and to create
16.03 (2) (d), 20.435 (5) (cg), 8
20.435 (5) (em), 20.437 (2) (cs), 20.445 (1) (fc), 20.505 (7) (fk), 36.25 (56), 46.483, 9
46.538, 48.47 (8) (d), 49.45 (31m), 49.675, 49.82 (3), 71.07 (8m), 71.10 (4) (cs), 10
106.115, 115.28 (66), 234.253 and 234.38 of the statutes; relating to: housing
11and homelessness; workforce development; community action agencies;
12poverty reports; mental health; public assistance advisory committee; economic
13security; adverse childhood experiences reports; creating a nonrefundable
14individual income tax credit for household and dependent care services;
1reimbursement for nonemergency medical transportation services; urban mass
2transit aid; and making an appropriation.
Analysis by the Legislative Reference Bureau
Under current law, the Department of Administration provides housing grants
to counties, municipalities, community action agencies, and private organizations
for the purpose of providing housing and associated supportive services to homeless
individuals and families in order to facilitate the movement of homeless persons to
independent living. This bill provides an additional $1,800,000 in the 2019-21 fiscal
biennium to fund that grant program.
This bill increases funding for DOA to award grants for the purpose of
supplementing the operating budgets of agencies and shelter facilities related to
providing shelter to the homeless. The bill provides an additional $700,000 in each
fiscal year of the 2019-21 fiscal biennium for that purpose.
This bill also increases funding for DOA to award grants to persons or families
of low or moderate income to defray housing costs. The bill provides an additional
$220,000 in each fiscal year of the 2019-21 fiscal biennium for that purpose.
This bill requires the Interagency Council on Homelessness to do all of the
following every two years:
1. Review all of the state's housing and homelessness-related programs.
2. Identify ways in which DOA and other state agencies specified in the bill and
the Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority can increase access to
services for homeless individuals and families, including homeless children and
youths as defined under federal law.
3. Advise each of the state agencies specified in the bill and WHEDA to revise
any policy or practice that the council determines impedes homeless individuals and
families from obtaining services.
This bill requires WHEDA to issue up to $1,000,000 in bonds to make grants
directly to individuals and families or to one or more local housing authorities for the
purpose of providing rent assistance to individuals and families who are in danger
of being evicted.
This bill requires the Department of Public Instruction to annually issue a
report to the legislature on the number of homeless children and youths in the public
schools of this state. Under the bill, “homeless children and youths” is defined by
reference to federal law providing homeless assistance.
This bill requires WHEDA to annually issue a report to the legislature on the
number of households with worst case housing needs in this state. “Households with
worst case housing needs” is defined in a manner consistent with that used by the
federal Department of Housing and Urban Development. The report must include
data and demographic information on these households, analysis of the impediments
to obtaining affordable housing, and recommendations on how to improve state and
local programs to assist these households with their housing needs.
This bill creates a two-year pilot program that gives priority to homeless
children and their families, as defined under federal law, on the waiting list that
WHEDA, or a public housing agency that contracts with WHEDA, maintains under
the federal Housing Choice Voucher Program. Under the bill, WHEDA is required
to develop policies and procedures for the pilot program.
Workforce development and job and income supports
This bill increases funding by $799,400 in each fiscal year of the 2019-21 fiscal
biennium to supplement, on a one-to-one matching basis, federal employment
opportunity demonstration project funds and funds from other federal and private
foundation sources for job creation and development for individuals with low
incomes. The program funded by these funds is commonly referred to as the Job and
Business Development Program.
Under current law, the Department of Children and Families must distribute
grants to community action agencies to provide skills enhancement services,
including access to transportation, child care, career counseling, job placement
assistance, and financial support for education and training. This bill provides an
additional $500,000 in each fiscal year of the 2019-21 fiscal biennium for that
This bill requires the Department of Workforce Development to establish a pilot
program that offers job and employment services for individuals receiving housing
vouchers or receiving services from state-funded homeless shelters. The bill
requires the pilot program to offer services similar to those offered under the existing
Transform Milwaukee Jobs and Transitional Jobs programs in current law. The bill
funds the pilot program with $500,000 in each fiscal year of the 2019-21 fiscal
biennium. Under the bill, the pilot program sunsets on June 30, 2021.
Under current law, DCF must distribute grants to community action agencies
to provide skills enhancement services, including access to transportation, child
care, career counseling, job placement assistance, and financial support for
education and training. Under this program, a community action agency may
provide these services to individuals who work at least 20 hours per week and whose
earned income is at or below 150 percent of the poverty line. This bill increases the
earned income threshold for eligibility to 200 percent of the poverty line.
Under current law, the Department of Transportation may award grants to
public and private organizations for the development and implementation of
demand management, ride-sharing, and job access and employment transportation
assistance programs. This bill increases the amount of state monies appropriated for
the development and implementation of job access and employment transportation
assistance programs by $249,450 in each year of the 2019-21 fiscal biennium.
Under the federal Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act of 2014 (WIOA),
federal funds are allocated to the state and, in turn, to local workforce development
areas designated by the governor to provide employment and training activities for
job seekers and workers. The WIOA repealed a prior law known as the federal
Workforce Investment Act of 1998 (WIA), which contained a number of similar
provisions. To receive funding under the WIOA, the governor must establish a state
workforce development board. This bill requires the board to identify certain
populations for services under their WIOA strategic plans. The populations to be
included are: 1) homeless individuals from ages 18 to 24; 2) certain children placed
in out-of-home care; and 3) homeless adults.
This bill repeals a provision concerning review and approval of certain matters
regarding assistance to dislocated workers that was administered as part of the WIA,
but that no longer exists. In addition, the bill updates references to the United States
Code sections regarding WIOA.
Community action agencies
This bill provides a 25 percent match from state funding to the federal
community services block grant, which funds the work of community action agencies.
A community action agency is an entity that provides services such as employment
or housing assistance, financial planning, or educational services to individuals
whose income is at or below 125 percent of the federal poverty line and that works
to combat poverty in the community that it serves.
This bill also requires the Department of Health Services to establish a grant
program to provide grants to community action agencies to enable them to respond
to the needs of communities and low-income families and individuals in crisis
resulting from opioid addiction-related issues. Through the program, DHS is
required to endeavor to expand and support effective community efforts to identify
and respond to causes and consequences of opioid misuse and addiction experienced
by low-income individuals, families, and communities. Under the bill, DHS shall
award grants of at least $25,000 and up to $250,000 per year. The bill sets out criteria
DHS must use in awarding grants, as well as characteristics of applications to which
DHS must give preference. Grants under the bill may not be more than three years
in duration unless approved by the DHS secretary.
Public assistance advisory committee
This bill requires DHS, in consultation with DCF and DOA, to create an
advisory committee to review proposed legislation and proposed requests for
approval from the federal government of changes to public assistance programs and
to review performance data outcomes and costs of changes to public assistance
programs after federal approval of changes to those programs. The bill specifies
participants DHS must appoint to the advisory committee. The bill also requires a
state agency that administers a public assistance program to hold a public comment
period before developing language for a proposal to waive federal law and to conduct
no fewer than three public hearings on the proposed waiver before submitting to the
federal government. The agency may not submit the request on the proposed waiver
without prior approval of the proposed waiver request by the Joint Committee on
Sober living and mental health
This bill requires DHS to encourage the development, expansion, and quality
control of networks of sober living residences and to allocate moneys to create a
revolving loan fund for establishing sober living residences or a network of sober
living residences or to award grants for purposes specified in the bill.
This bill requires DHS to award grants to entities or groups that meet its
qualifications to perform research projects on mental health issues and access to
mental health services in rural areas of the state.
Nonemergency medical transportation services
This bill requires DHS to determine and implement a reimbursement rate for
nonemergency medical transportation services for Medical Assistance recipients
who are nursing home residents that is the same as the prevalent brokerage
reimbursement rate applied to other nonemergency medical transportation services
for Medical Assistance recipients.
Household and dependent care services expenses tax credit
This bill creates a nonrefundable individual income tax credit for certain
expenses for household and dependent care services, based on a similar federal
Under current federal law, there exists a tax credit for expenses for household
and dependent care services necessary for gainful employment. Generally, the
federal credit is a nonrefundable individual income tax credit that may be claimed
by an individual for employment-related expenses for household services and
dependent care services for a qualifying individual. Because the credit is
nonrefundable, it may be claimed only up to the amount of a taxpayer's tax liability.
Generally, under federal law, a qualifying individual is someone who has the
same principal place of abode as the claimant for more than one-half of the year, is
the claimant's dependent, and is 1) a child age 12 or under; 2) a child age 13 or older
who is incapable of self-care; or 3) the claimant's spouse who is incapable of self-care.
The credit may be claimed for expenses to enable the claimant to be gainfully
employed or actively search for gainful employment. Generally, allowable expenses
for a qualifying individual under federal law include costs for in-home care or
daycare, nursery school or preschool programs, and before-school and after-school
care for school-age children. Depending on the claimant's adjusted gross income, the
credit may be worth between 20 percent and 35 percent of the claimant's allowable
expenses, up to a maximum annual amount of $3,000 if there is one qualifying
individual and up to $6,000 if there are two or more qualifying individuals.
This bill creates a nonrefundable individual income tax credit based on the
federal tax credit for expenses for household and dependent care services. Under the
bill, an individual who is eligible for and claims the federal tax credit for expenses
for household and dependent care services may claim the same amount as a
nonrefundable credit on his or her Wisconsin income tax return. Under the bill, the
Wisconsin credit may not be claimed by a part-year resident or nonresident of this
Under current law, DOT provides state aid payments to local public bodies in
urban areas served by mass transit systems to assist the local public bodies with the
expenses of operating those systems. This bill increases the total amount of state aid
payments for mass transit systems serving urban areas having a population of less
than 50,000 to $5,707,800 in calendar year 2020 and thereafter.
This bill requires DCF to prepare and transmit to the governor and the
legislature an annual report on the number of children in out-of-home care in the
previous year who have experienced adverse childhood experiences. Under current
law, a child may be placed in out-of-home care, such as in a foster home, the home
of a guardian or relative other than a parent, or a group home, if a court assigned to
exercise jurisdiction under the Children's Code finds the child to be in need of
protection or services.
This bill requires the Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System
to allocate $50,000 each fiscal year for the Institute for Research on Poverty at the
UW-Madison to study and provide an annual report to the public on poverty in this