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Wisconsin, Not Washington

Tuesday, December 20, 2016 - Press Release

Madison – Governor Scott Walker today sent a letter to President-elect Donald J. Trump outlining actions he believes the incoming administration should take immediately upon taking office to restore state control over the governance of a number of programs and services. The letter also details Governor Walker’s concerns over incessant federal overreach.

“Too often, states have become mere administrative provinces of an all-powerful federal government in Washington,” Governor Walker said. “Now is the time to reverse that trend. These requests are the first of many my administration will make as Wisconsin leads the effort to restore balance between state and federal government.”

The letter asks President-elect Trump to provide flexibility in implementing a number of programs that will help the citizens of Wisconsin, including:

  • Drug screening, testing, and treatment of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) for Able-bodied Adults Without Dependents: Wisconsin aims to ensure barriers to employment related to substance abuse are addressed as part of our robust SNAP education and Food Share Employment and Training (FSET) program. In 2015, we announced a policy that would require drug screening and, where appropriate, testing and treatment, for Able-bodied Adults Without Dependents who meet their work requirements by participating in FSET. We have been forced to delay our implementation and are optimistic your administration will give states like Wisconsin the flexibility to provide the accountability the taxpayers demand.
  • Able-Bodied Adults Without Dependents Requirements for Medicaid: Wisconsin will be requesting a 1115 waiver to apply new policies for childless adults at or below 100 percent of the federal poverty level. Our state would like to encourage healthier lifestyles through differential premiums for childless adults who purposefully increase their health risks while receiving benefits.  
  • Refugee Resettlement Process for Refugees from Countries with Terrorist Ties: Wisconsin has consistently voiced concern about the vetting and relocation of refugees from such countries. We would like our state to have a broader role in determining how many refugees and from which countries until we are comfortable with the vetting process that is being utilized to screen these individuals.  
  • State Management of the Gray Wolf Population: The recovery of the gray wolf in Wisconsin is a success story. However, the population needs to be managed appropriately. Our state had been successfully managing the population until a federal court removed that the authority to do so. We would ask that Wisconsin again be allowed to manage this species.
  • Canadian Dairy Trade Protectionism: Wisconsin’s dairy producers have been disadvantaged by Canada’s recent change in their pricing policy. We believe the policy was designed to discourage U.S. exports of ultrafiltered milk and incentivizes Canadians to purchase Canadian milk, which is a possible violation of World Trade obligations. Our Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection has been very vocal about this unfair trade practice.

Governor Walker has directed his cabinet secretaries to thoroughly review all programs and federal mandates that add costs to taxpayers, limit the flexibility of effective governance, and impede private sector growth with the intent to ask for relief.

“I encourage governors across the nation to do the same,” Governor Walker added. “We look forward to partnering with President-elect Trump and his administration to change the course of the federal and state relationship.”

A copy of Governor Walker’s letter is attached.

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