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5 thoughts on “TEST

  1. Lauren Rosandick
    Ban the Box

    Ban the Box refers to a requirement to remove the “box” from employment applications that ask an applicant whether he/she has ever been convicted of a crime. One of the major concerns of the Ban the Box issue is to stop individual discrimination against those who have been formerly incarcerated, and instead, help integrate them back into society (The Ban the Ban the Box Campaign, 2003). Unfortunately, all too often felons receive judgment and discrimination from their mistakes (The Ban the Box Campaign, 2003). As a result of this, they do not receive the opportunity to change their futures for the better (The Ban the Box Campaign, 2003). One of the goals of Ban the Box is to make people support changes in policies that discriminate against the formerly incarcerated (The Ban the Box Campaign, 2003). This is an important goal, because if these former felons cannot obtain a job, the chances of them committing another crime increases dramatically (The Ban the Box Campaign, 2003). Another goal of Ban the Box is to receive the support of all employers to hire previously incarcerated individuals, as well as support the elimination of any restrictions on the involvement that may reject the formerly incarcerated population (The Ban the Box Campaign, 2003).
    Currently, the Ban the Box movement has been implemented in 13 states and 66 cities nationwide (Maurer, 2014). Those who have adopted this movement are moving forward with more than just modifying or removing criminal record questions; they are actually revising the criminal record screening program (Ensuring People with Convictions have a Fair Chance to Work, 2015). As a result of this, any questions on an applicant’s criminal record are to be examined after his/her interview. By this, applicants convicted of a felony receive a fair chance of displaying their skills, as well as their ability relating to the applied occupation (Ensuring People with Convictions have a Fair Chance to Work, 2015).
    The state of Wisconsin experiences the Ban the Box movement in various ways. For example, currently only two counties in Wisconsin have completely removed the felon box on job applications- Milwaukee and Dane in the year 2011 (Wisconsin State Legislature, 2013). The other counties in Wisconsin; however, still have the felon box on job applications, but must abide by the regulations of The Wisconsin Fair Employment Law (Wisconsin’s Fair Chance Law, 2013). This law regulates what employers can ask on a job application (Wisconsin’s Fair Chance Law, 2013). For instance, employers cannot ask about previous arrests for an employment application, unless the applicant has pending charges (“Ban-the-Box” Laws Impact Employer Use of Criminal Records Information, 2016). In addition, The Wisconsin Fair Employment Law prohibits discrimination for employment based on an arrest or conviction record (Wisconsin’s Fair Chance Law, 2013). The law also specifies that it is not considered employment discrimination if employers refuse to employ someone who has been convicted of a felony, a misdemeanor, or other offense if it substantially relates to the circumstances of the job (Wisconsin’s Fair Chance Law, 2013). Still, this law makes it extremely easy for those convicted of a felony to be discriminated against during the application process, as the law does not specify the certain criteria of the crime(s) that would “substantially relate” to different jobs.
    In summary, if the state of Wisconsin adopts the Ban the Box policy, felons will experience a higher possibility of making it to the interview process. This is because employers will not be aware of any crimes committed by the applicant, so they will have to base their decision to interview the applicant on their qualifications for the job. The goal is to raise awareness on how beneficial it will be to pass a policy no longer requiring felons to check the box.

    References
    “Ban-the-Box” Laws Impact Employer Use of Criminal Records Information. (2016). In
    Boardman & Clark. Retrieved April 10, 2016, from http://www.boardmanclark.com/publications/ban-the-box-laws-impact-employer-use-of-criminal-records-information/
    Ensuring People with Convictions have a Fair Chance to Work. (2015). Retrieved April 19, 2016, from http://www.nelp.org/campaign/ensuring-fair-chance-to-work/
    Maurer, R. (2014). Ban-the-Box Movement Goes Viral Dozens of cities and states restrict employers from asking job applicants about criminal convictions. Retrieved April 19, 2016, from https://www.shrm.org/hrdisciplines/safetysecurity/articles/pages/ban-the-box-movement-viral.aspx
    The Ban the Box Campaign. (2015). In Ban the Box Campaign. Retrieved April 10, 2016,
    from http://bantheboxcampaign.org/?p=23#.VwV1N8d2dFI
    Wisconsin’s Fair Chance Law. (2016). In Verify Protect. Retrieved April 10, 2016, from
    http://www.verifyprotect.com/ban-the-box/wisconsin/
    Wisconsin State Legislature. (2013). In Wisconsin Legislation. Retrieved April 10, 2016,
    from https://docs.legis.wisconsin.gov/2013/related/proposals/ab342

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  2. Social Work Safety
    Kimberly Robertson

    As a future social worker, one must be weary of the issues facing the profession. One of the most crucial concerns facing the social work profession today is safety. The National Association of Social Workers (NASW) Guidelines for Social Worker Safety in the Workplace (2013) pointed out, “Social workers have been the targets of verbal and physical assaults in agencies as well as during field visits with clients” (p. 5). The NASW has provided these guidelines to promote the safety of social workers in all settings. To be specific, the Wisconsin Chapter of NASW has supported the Social Work Safety Bill in light of the Castle Doctrine’s exclusion of social workers. The Social Work Safety Bill should be passed in Wisconsin in order to include social workers in the Castle Doctrine, implement safety education, and advance social justice.

    The Social Work Safety Bill stems from the Castle Doctrine, Act 94 (2011). Passed in 2011, the Castle Doctrine allows for people to use deadly force if they believe there is an intruder on their property or breaking into their home. Wisconsin Act 94 (2011) specifically protects public safety workers, which refers to professions like police officers or firefighters. Social workers do not fall under this category. With numerous cases of violence against social workers, something needs to be put forth to protect the profession. Reeser and Wertkin (2001) explained that in today’s society, social workers are seen as agents of the state and not as part of the helping profession (p. 96). Thus, the Social Work Safety Bill was proposed to protect human service workers who engage in regular home visits, like social workers, by exempting them from the Castle Doctrine defense.

    Although the verbal and physical assaults from clients are difficult to prevent, providing social workers with safety education can help to protect them in crisis situations. The Teri Zenner Bill in Kanasa, Senate Bill 25 (2009), requires specific safety training for all new social workers. After social worker Teri Zenner was brutally slayed by a client during a home visit, the state took action to promote safety education for all social workers. Matt Zenner, husband of Teri, worked to pass this bill in Kansas to expand the safety skills of social workers (Carpenter, 2010). Senate Bill 25 (2009) requires six hours of safety training for all social workers in the state of Kansas as part of the continuing education requirement, thus making Kansas a model state for safety education. In the Social Worker Safety Bill, safety education would be included as part of continuing education and improve the overall safety skills of social workers.

    The Social Work Safety Bill would ultimately advance social justice, which would strengthen the profession as a whole. According to the NASW Code of Ethics (2008), the ethical principle of social justice urges social workers to challenge social injustices and focus on change efforts. The major social injustice facing the social work profession currently is that social workers are frequently at risk while on home visits and if the risk escalates, the Castle Doctrine protects the homeowner, not the social worker. Social workers need to become advocates for their own protection, which they can do by supporting the Bill. It is important to be an advocate and fight social injustices facing social workers, “for a profession that is already struggling to recruit and retain social workers to serve the nearly 10 million clients [they] work with on a daily basis” (“The Urgency of Social Work Safety,” 2010). By passing the Social Work Safety Bill, social injustice will be fought by giving social workers a voice for their own protection.

    The Social Work Safety Bill would have a number of benefits for social workers and the community if passed. If an individual chooses to use deadly force against a social worker while they are on the individual’s property, the individual would be covered under the Castle Doctrine. With the Social Work Safety Bill, this would no longer be possible, as social workers would be exempt from the Castle Doctrine defense. Overall, supporting the Social Work Safety Bill would raise awareness for an issue that the social work profession has been facing for a very long time.

    References

    2011 Wisconsin Act 94. Assembly Bill 69. (2011).

    Carpenter, T. (2010, April 8). Law affects social workers, safety. Retrieved from http://cjonline.com/news/legislature/2010-04-08/law_affects_social_workers_safety

    Kelly, J. J. (2010, October). The urgency of social worker safety. Retrieved from https://www.socialworkers.org/pubs/news/2010/10/social-worker-safety.asp

    National Association of Social Workers. (2008). Code of ethics of the national association of social workers. Washington, DC: NASW Press.

    National Association of Social Workers. (2013). Guidelines for social worker safety in the workplace. Washington, DC: NASW Press.

    Reeser, L. C., & Wertkin, R. A. (2001). Safety Training in Social Work Education: A National Survey. Journal of Teaching in Social Work, 21(1/2), 95-113.

    Teri Zenner Social Worker Safety Act, S. 1490, 111th Cong. (2009).

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  3. Logan Wilz 05/10/2016 wilzl82@uwosh.edu

    Over the past five-months I have studied Medicaid expansion in Wisconsin. I had the chance to speak with representatives from different political parties over the past few months, and I have found a common ground between all parties. Each party I spoke with agrees that everyone should have access to healthcare. The main problem I see with Wisconsin’s healthcare expansion is that it leaves a coverage gap for those living directly above the poverty level. There are more problems constituents of Wisconsin face as a result of Wisconsin’s decision to decline Federal funding and I will go into detail of these with you.

    How Accepting Federal Medicaid Funding Will Impact Wisconsin

    The State of Wisconsin has been negatively impacted by its refusal to accept Federal funding for the Medicaid Expansion. Governor Scott Walker opted instead to implement the Section 1115 Waiver (Buettgens, Holahan, & Recht, 2015). Although this waiver allows single adults eligibility if they are up to 100 percent of the federal poverty line (FPL), the Medicaid expansion would have allowed eligibility for single adults up to 133 percent of the FPL. This leaves single adults living above 100 percent of the FPL, but below 133 percent, having to pay out-of-pocket costs to the Federal Health Insurance Marketplace.

    Who is Being Hurt the Most

    In an interview with MSNBC, Governor Walker stated that he wanted to have less people on Medicaid, and “…to find a way to get them into the workforce” (MSNBC, 2014). However, most already are in the workforce. The population impacted the most by the refusal to accept Medicaid funding is the “working poor”: non-disabled adults who are working the equivalent of full-time positions, but without the ability to access benefits from their employer. This population falls into a gap: those living above 100 percent, but less than 133 percent of the FPL. While the federal government subsidizes premiums for individuals between 100% and 400% of the FPL, the working poor are paying more out of pocket than if they had been approved for Medicaid through the expansion (Kaiser Family Foundation, 2015).

    Uncompensated Health Care

    According to the Wisconsin Hospital Association (WHA), the uncompensated health care costs for the state of Wisconsin are projected to have increased 2.7 percent in 2015, bringing the total cost to $1,386,670,707. This is a result of the patients being unable to pay for services, or the hospital being unable to collect payment for services rendered (2015a). Contributing to that are the 46% of Wisconsin residents who had previously been eligible for the state Medicaid assistance, but do not have coverage through the Affordable Care Act (ACA) (2015b). The Disproportionate Share Hospital (DSH) Program is partially funded by the state budget, and will be providing the state hospitals with $72 million over the next two years to help compensate for the rising costs associated with uncompensated care (2015b).

    Economic Impacts Beyond Healthcare

    According to Senator Jon Erpenbach (D-WI), Wisconsin taxpayers will have lost $1.07 billion in general purpose revenue (GPR) by the end of 2021 by continuing to refuse the federal funding for the Medicaid expansion (2015). In addition to the loss of revenue, the state has seen significant cuts to its public schools, from primary schools to universities. Wisconsin is currently facing a $300 million cut to its UW education system (Bosman, 2015). Budget funding which had previously been dedicated to education has now been allotted to cover the increased budget that the state needs to spend on its Medicaid program.

    What Should Be Done

    In May 2015, a bill was proposed which would amend the eligibility limit from 100 percent of the FPL to 133 percent. By accepting the amendments proposed by Senate Bill 174, Wisconsin would be able to provide Medicaid coverage to single adults below the age of 65, who had fallen into the coverage gap (Wisconsin State Legislature, 2015). Expanding the Medicaid program would provide coverage for an additional 120,000 residents, benefiting the state’s working poor population. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) states that these federal funds would account for 100 percent of the costs for the first three years, and would cover at least 90 percent of the Medicaid funding indefinitely (2015).

    If Wisconsin accepts the $345 million in federal money to fund the Medicaid program, the state’s budget would have the ability to allocate its own state dollars on other programs. The state’s most recent budget proposal has called for $300 million in cuts to the education system that could have been reduced or even eliminated by accepting the federal Medicaid dollars (Bosman, 2015). The state would benefit from seizing the opportunity to accept the federal funds and could help remedy the budget disparities that are currently impacting Wisconsin. By not taking the federal funds, the state is putting an avoidable burden on the taxpayers of Wisconsin.

    References
    Bosman, J. (2015, February 16). 2016 ambitions seen in Walker’s push for for university cuts in Wisconsin: Gov. Scott Walker’s higher education budget ignites backlash. Retrieved from http://www.nytimes.com/2015/02/17/us/politics/scott-walker-university-wisconsin.html? _r=0

    Buettgens, M., Holahan, J., & Recht, H. (2015). Medicaid expansion, health coverage, and spending: An update for the 21 states that have not expanded eligibility. Retrieved from http://kff.org/medicaid/issue-brief/medicaid-expansion-health-coverage-and-spending-an- update-for-the-21-states-that-have-not-expanded-eligibility/

    Erpenbach, J. (2015, December 17). Walker policy to cost WI taxpayers $1.07 billion in next six years. Retrieved from http://legis.wisconsin.gov/senate/erpenbach/PressReleases/Pages/ Walker-Policy-to-Cost-WI-Taxpayers-1.07-Billion-in-Next-Six-Years.aspx

    Kaiser Family Foundation. (2015), The Wisconsin health care landscape. Retrieved from http://kff.org/health-reform/fact-sheet/the-wisconsin-health-care-landscape/

    MSNBC. (2014, November 14). Walker: Unlike DC, Wisconsin gets things done [Video file]. Retrieved from http://www.msnbc.com/morning-joe/watch/walker–unlike-dc–wisconsin-gets-things-done-358208067815

    U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (2015). 5 years later: How the Affordable Care Act is working for Wisconsin. Retrieved from http://www.hhs.gov/healthcare/facts-and-features/state-by-state/how-aca-is-working-for-wisconsin/index.html

    Wisconsin Hospital Association. (2015a). Uncompensated health care report – Wisconsin hospitals, fiscal year 2014. Retrieved from http://www.whainfocenter.com/uploads /PDFs/Publications/Uncompensated/Uncompensated_Web_2014.pdf

    Wisconsin Hospital Association. (2015b). Walker signs two-year budget into law, vetoes 104 provisions: Permanent Medicaid DSH program receives final approval from Gov. Walker. Retrieved from http://www.wha.org/Data/Sites/1/pubarchive/valued_voice/ WHA-Newsletter-7-17-2015.htm#1

    Wisconsin State Legislature. (2015, May 21). Senate bill 174. Retrieved from http://docs.legis.wisconsin.gov/2015/related/proposals/sb174

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