Finance Committee Approves Welfare Reform On Tommy@30 Day

Wisconsin Senate Democrats Remain Defiant After Anti-Union Bill Passes Assembly

By | M.D. Kittle

On a day devoted to the legacy of Wisconsin's longest-serving governor and its pioneer welfare reformer, the Legislature's budget committee took up several welfare reform measures.

Before Tuesday afternoon's Joint Finance Committee meeting, Wisconsin state government leaders past and present turned out for a Public Policy Symposium examined the innovator and master politician that is former Gov. Tommy Thompson.

The symposium is among several events scheduled this year in the Tommy@30 series, marking the 30th anniversary of the Republican's first inauguration as governor - the first of many over a remarkable 14-year career as Wisconsin's chief executive.

Among Thompson's myriad accomplishments, the governor may be best remembered for his Wisconsin Works, or W-2, his signature welfare reform package of the mid-1990s.

"Few governors have had such an impact on the nation's life," James Klauser, chairman of the Tommy@30 committee, Secretary of the Department of Administration under Thompson and one of the former governor's closest advisors, said in a press release. Klauser was among several former Thompson administration officials at Tuesday's symposium.

"Tommy Thompson's welfare reforms and job creation policies helped millions enjoy the dignity of work and independence," Klauser added.

Gov. Scott Walker and the Republican-controlled Legislature have sought to follow in Thompson's welfare reform footsteps.

Walker, who has been a national leader in government reform over his term and a half in office, earlier this year rolled out a package of welfare reforms billed as "Wisconsin Works for Everyone." Walker has sold the proposals as the next generation of Wisconsin Works.

Read more at the MacIver Institute

Photo: Getty Images

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