WISCAP Urges Passage of the Wisconsin Opportunity Act

Contact: Kassidy Berens, Communications Manager
Telephone: 608-244-4422
Email: kberens@wiscap.org

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 13, 2020
Public Briefing/Public Hearing
SB 467/AB 508
Monday February 17, 2020
1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Room 415 N.W.
Wisconsin State Capitol

The Wisconsin Community Action Program Association (WISCAP) calls for passage of the Wisconsin Opportunity Act (SB 467, AB 508) in the Wisconsin State Legislature. The proposal, authored by Senator LaTonya Johnson and Representative Lisa Subeck, advances comprehensive legislation designed to aid communities in the fight against poverty; calling for a renewed investment in housing, transportation, employment and business development training, and other services. The bill, currently co-sponsored by 25 members, has been referred to the Senate Committee on Local Government, Small Business, Tourism and Workforce Development and the Assembly Committee on Housing and Real Estate, respectively.

A public hearing on the bill will take place on Monday, February 17th from 1:00-3:00 in the State Capitol. WISCAP urges lawmakers and the public to attend. In addition to numerous local Community Action Agencies from across the state, the briefing will feature testimony of the Wisconsin Council on Churches, the Institute for Research on Poverty, the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades District Council 7, the Tenant Resource Council, Friends of Recovery, housing and homeless advocates, and specialized transportation groups.

WISCAP sees this legislation as a necessary step to combat poverty statewide. The Institute for Research on Poverty reports that more than 1 in 10 Wisconsinites live in poverty, with the elderly representing the fastest growing segment of the population. In 2018, the Department of Public Instruction identified 18,854 homeless children and youth throughout the state. And, while unemployment remains low, housing costs have increased out of proportion to earnings. In fact, more than 306,000 people in 163,900 low-income households pay more than half their income for housing.

Community action agencies and their local partners throughout Wisconsin provide a wide range of programs and services that help individuals and families respond to crisis as well as achieve lasting economic security and self-sufficiency. If passed, this bill would help expand such outcomes. According to WISCAP Executive Director Brad Paul, “Whether we consider the impact of lagging wages, rising housing costs, the opioid crisis, or the downturn in the farm economy, both metro and small-town Wisconsin continue to face significant challenges and stress, even as major economic indicators are largely healthy. Senator Johnson and Representative Subeck are keenly aware of how poverty reveals itself in our communities and have offered an important response.”

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If you would like more information on the proposed legislation or to schedule an interview, please contact Gary Goyke, Legislative Consultant, (608) 219-5237

Wisconsin Opportunity Act Endorsements

ADVOCAP
Arts Wisconsin
CAP Services, Inc
Central Wisconsin Community Action Council
Coalition of Wisconsin Aging Groups
Couleecap, Inc.
Community Action Inc.
Community Action Coalition for South Central Wisconsin
Coalition of Wisconsin Aging Groups
Feeding Wisconsin
Forward Community Investments
Foundation for Rural Housing, Inc.
Friends of Recovery Inc.
Indianhead Community Action Agency
International Union of Painters and Allied Trades District Council 7
Kids Forward
Lakeshore CAP, Inc. of Wisconsin
Newcap, Inc.
North Central Community Action Program, Inc.
Northwest Wisconsin Community Services Agency
Racine Kenosha Community Action Agency, Inc.
Social Development Commission
Southwestern Wisconsin Community Action Program (SWCAP)
Stronger Together Fox Valley
Tenant Resource Center
UMOS, Inc.
West Central Wisconsin Community Action Agency, Inc (West CAP)
Western Dairyland Economic Opportunity Council, Inc.
Wisconsin Apartment Association
Wisconsin Association of Mobility Managers
Wisconsin Association of Taxicab Owners
Wisconsin Business Alliance
Wisconsin Coalition Against Homelessness
Wisconsin Community Action Program Association (WISCAP)
Wisconsin Coordinated Transportation Cooperative
Wisconsin Council of Churches
Wisconsin Early Childhood Association
Wisconsin Specialized Medical Vehicle Association
Wisconsin Transportation Equity Alliance

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