Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Court holds out a hand to women and their kids

Wisconsin's welfare administrators interpreted the W-2 law like this: if women on welfare can't find jobs, cut off cash assistance they need to support their children and to buy the gas to go on job interviews so they can earn their own money to support their kids.

Helllllo, people. Then yesterday arrived, and with it a little lesson in common sense from the State Court of Appeals. The court read the law, and found that it did not allow the "job ready" category into which the Department of Workforce Development tossed people it didn't want to assist.

This is not a plug for unlimited, lifetime cash assistance for W-2 recipients. It is a plug for a little reasonableness: if women with the ability and desire to work can't find jobs, the best approach would seem to be to assess the reasons why they can't find jobs and then help them deal with those issues.

The state's treatment of women with good work ethics, good attitudes and children seems unnecessarily harsh and punitive.

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