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Wisconsin Works—for Private Contractors, That Is

By Karyn Rotker, Jane Ahlstrom & Fran Bernstein

During the first two years of Wisconsin's implementation of Wisconsin Works, the state's Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program, private contractors in Milwaukee County alone pocketed more than $26 million in profits. These contractors gave themselves and their staffs huge taxpayer-funded bonuses, while cutting caseloads dramatically and imposing harsh sanctions on clients. Not surprisingly, the program has not helped significant numbers of people rise out of poverty.

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