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Wisconsin Shares Still Needs Reform

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Robin J. Vos State Representative • 63rd Assembly District • Racine County

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

For Further Information Contact: November 5, 2009

Rep. Robin Vos

(608) 266 9171

Wisconsin Shares Still Needs Reform

Bill is better than nothing, but much more needs to be done

Madison…A bill to reform the Wisconsin Shares childcare program is a small step in the right direction, according to state Representative Robin Vos (R-Caledonia), but says the bill’s passage today is only the beginning. He says he’ll continue to work on meaningful reform ideas defeated by Assembly Democrats on Thursday.

“The reforms we proposed today were ideas brought to me by the Racine and Milwaukee County human services departments,” said Vos. “Unfortunately, the authors of the bill chose to listen to the bureaucrats in Madison instead of the front-line county workers who have the best ideas for reforming the program.”

Vos expressed appreciation for the input Racine and Milwaukee counties provided to help him better understand what tools are needed at the county level.

“These were common sense solutions to close the gap on the childcare “rings” exposed by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel earlier this year,” explained Vos. “But because they were defeated, the Wisconsin Shares program remains a giant pot of money wide-open to scammers.”

According to Vos, because the amendments were suggested by front-line workers, there’s no good explanation for why Democrats chose to vote against them.

Defeated amendments included:

  • Requiring fingerprinting for a more thorough background check for those applying to be a child care provider
  • Eliminating child care subsidies for children of daycare providers unless a clear need is established for the subsidy
  • Shortening the fair hearing process to eliminate the misuse of the system and prolonged payment of benefits during an appeal process
  • Creating an incentive program that monetarily rewards counties for their work in uncovering fraud
  • An appropriation of $2.5 million for fraud detection and program integrity to give counties the resources they need to detect and prevent fraud. The approved bill appropriates no money to county agencies
  • Restricting subsidy payments to providers convicted of child abuse or neglect
  • Prohibiting payments to illegal aliens

“It’s clear to me that the Democrats who did not support these amendments were more interested in political gamesmanship and listening to the excuses of a bureaucracy that claims too many reforms will be too hard to implement, than actually fully reforming the program,” declared Vos.

He went on to say: “Even though the media attention may die down with the passage of these initial reforms, I’m committed to continuing the fight to reform the program as extensively as possible so scammers will never be allowed to swindle the Wisconsin taxpayers again.”

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