Shankland’s Vocational Rehab Bill Signed into Law
Left, Katrina Shankland (far right, in blue) with Governor Walker. (Contributed photo)
For the City-Times
Governor Scott Walker signed Senate Bill 274 into law last week, part of his Worker Training initiatives agenda designed to help people get back to work. The measure increases state funding for vocational rehabilitation services, and allows the state to maximize federal funds. The law was co-sponsored by Stevens Point Assemblywoman Katrina Shankland.
“This legislation is great news for people with disabilities, who want the independence that comes with having a job,” Governor Walker said. “This will allow us to assist more people with employment services and counseling. We can also help more employers hire workers with disabilities, offering a great advantage for both the employee and employer.”
With this legislation, the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development expects they will be able to serve approximately 23,000 jobseekers with disabilities over the next two years. This legislation will allow the state to fund nine positions, which will increase the number of people served. This program helps one of the most vulnerable populations to become engaged and fully participate in their communities.
The legislation increases state funding for vocational rehabilitation services by $2,108,900 for the 2013-2014 fiscal year and $2,096,700 in the 2014-2015 fiscal year. This allows the Department of Workforce Development to receive federal funds of $7,792,000 in 2013-2014 and $7,747,000 in 2014-2015. The federal funding is only available with a 21.3 percent state match.
Governor Walker thanked Senator Jennifer Shilling (D-La Crosse) and Representative Katrina Shankland (D-Stevens Point) for authoring the legislation. The bill passed both the Assembly and the Senate with strong bipartisan support.
This bill is one of eight bills included in the Worker Training initiative announced by Governor Walker in September.