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Governor Walker signed his Wisconsin Works for Everyone welfare reform package into law this week. With the implementation of these reforms, Wisconsin will once again lead the nation on welfare reform.

He also signed “Sara’s Law” to protect those working in Wisconsin Family Court and an apprenticeship bill that allows graduating high school seniors to gain valuable professional experience through registered apprenticeship programs during their final year of school.

Finally, Governor Walker releases a statement regarding Speaker Ryan’s retirement, celebrates another top 10 ranking, and recognizes founding father Thomas Jefferson’s birthday.

1. Leading the Nation on Welfare Reform

This week, Governor Walker signed nine welfare reform bills into law as part of his Wisconsin Works for Everyone welfare reform plan. These bills are another key item of Governor Walker’s Ambitious Agenda for 2018.

Regarding the accomplishment, Governor Walker commented:

“Wisconsin is leading the nation on welfare reform. We want to help those in need move from government dependence to true independence through the dignity of work. We believe welfare should be more like a trampoline and less like a hammock. Our Wisconsin Works for Everyone welfare reform bills ensure help to those who truly need it, while providing the training and assistance they need to re-enter the workforce and regain independence. We do all of this while also protecting our taxpayers through asset limits on public assistance. Thanks to Speaker Robin Vos and Senator Chris Kapenga for their work on these bills.”

Governor Walker’s Wisconsin Works for Everyone Welfare Reform comprehensively addresses welfare reform through nine key initiatives.

2. Sara’s Law Bill Signing

“Just over one year ago, the Wausau community and our entire state were shocked by the tragic killings of Sara Quirt-Sann, Dianne Look, Karen Barclay, and Detective Jason Weiland. Wausau’s community came together to support one another, which is why we are here today signing Sara’s Law. I thank Sara’s husband Scott Sann, Representative Pat Snyder, Senator Jerry Petrowski for their leadership. Because of their efforts, there are new legal protections for those who dedicate their careers to helping others.”

– Governor Walker

On March 22, 2017, Sara Quirt-Sann, Dianne Look, Karen Barclay, and Detective Jason Weiland of the Everest Metro Police Department were killed by Nengmy Vang. Sara Quirt-Sann was representing Vang’s wife in divorce proceedings, and Dianne Look and Karen Barclay worked with Vang’s wife.

This week, Governor Walker signed Sara’s Law in the Sara Quirt-Sann Memorial Courtroom at the Marathon County Courthouse in Wausau. The bill makes it a Class H felony to cause or threaten bodily harm to guardians ad litem, corporation counsels, or attorneys in response to their official actions in family law proceedings. A Class H felony conviction carries a maximum sentence of six years, a $10,000 fine, or both.

3. Apprenticeship Bill Signing

Governor Walker also signed Assembly Bill 745 into law at Bohemian Park Apartment’s construction site in Ashwaubenon. This legislation will open the door for graduating high school seniors to gain valuable professional qualifications and experience through registered apprenticeship programs during their final year of school. These programs will give participating students a head start towards obtaining the critical skills they need for gainful employment.

In a statement, Governor Walker noted:

“By increasing apprenticeship opportunities for high school students, we are opening the door for high school seniors to get a head start on their career in high demand areas. Through these on-the-job training programs, we are providing the future of Wisconsin’s workforce with needed skills to have rewarding careers. Investing in these apprenticeships is investing in our state’s future.”

4. Statement on Speaker Ryan

Following Speaker Ryan’s decision to retire from the U.S. House of Representatives, Governor Walker released the following statement:

“As dear friends of Paul and Janna for more than 20 years, Tonette and I simply say ‘thank you’ to them and their family. On behalf of the more than five and a half million people of Wisconsin, we thank them for their deep dedication and service to our state and our country. While Paul leaves behind a far-reaching, reform-minded legacy and a long list of achievements in Congress, I believe this is just the beginning for him.”

5. Best State for Millennials

Wisconsin was included in another top ten ranking! WalletHub ranked Wisconsin the 6th best state in the nation millennials.

6. Recognizing One of Our Nation’s Founding Fathers

Governor Walker recognized Thomas Jefferson’s birthday and his contribution to our country’s founding.