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Proposed Budget: Addressing Staffing and Workforce Needs Across Health Care Sectors

A smiling caregiver standing by a smiling senior with a walker.

Governor Evers’ budget makes significant investments to addresses workforce shortages experienced by every sector of Wisconsin’s economy. This budget builds upon investments made during the COVID-19 pandemic using federal ARPA funds to support talent development and policy changes to get and keep skilled workers in the Wisconsin economy. Wisconsin’s health care workforce challenges were exacerbated by the pandemic, and the budget invests in long-term solutions to promote staffing across all health care sectors.

Workforce initiatives

  • Continue support of the WisCaregiver Careers program. The WisCaregiver Careers program aims to address the shortage of certified nursing assistants in the state by supporting recruitment, training, and retention of qualified caregivers for nursing home residents across Wisconsin. This budget provides $8 million to increase funding to the program over the biennium.
  • Health Care Provider Innovation Grants. The Governor’s budget recommends $22.5 million over the biennium to establish an ongoing Innovation Grant program for health care employers to engage in improved recruitment and retention of long-term care providers.
  • Health Care and Public Health Innovation Grants. Governor Evers recommends providing funding to support a pilot project in Dane County focused on addressing the mental health crisis among health care workers and recruiting and retaining a sustainable workforce.

Health care/long-term care provider quality assurance

Address workload demands for quality oversight for long-term care services. To protect the safety of Wisconsinites living in long-term care facilities and to keep pace with the growth in the provider community, Governor Evers’ budget recommends providing 11 FTE positions in the Office of Caregiver Quality to support misconduct investigations and the background check program. Additionally, the budget recommends an increase in staff who investigate complaints and survey assisted living facilities and recommends a position to manage the labor-intensive Nursing Home Grant Program.

DHS direct care facilities

  • Expand capacity and fully staff Mendota Juvenile Treatment Center. Mendota Juvenile Treatment Center (MJTC) is recognized nationally and internationally for its evidence-based treatment model that has achieved significant positive outcomes for juveniles with serious behavioral problems. The treatment center currently only serves boys in a 29-bed facility. The Governor’s budget provides 174 FTE positions to fully staff an expansion of the facility. The expansion will increase capacity at the MJTC from 29 to 93, and will serve juvenile girls for the first time.
  • Transfer security personnel at Wisconsin Resource Center to DHS. Security staff at Wisconsin Resource Center (WRC) are currently administered by both Department of Corrections (DOC) and DHS, which introduces needless complexity and challenges to human resource administration in both organizations. This budget transfers all 110 FTE positions serving as correctional officers at WRC to DHS. This transfer is supported by both agencies.
  • Expand the intensive treatment program at Northern Wisconsin Center. Northern Wisconsin Center (NWC) serves people with intellectual disabilities and currently has the capacity to expand the program. Governor Evers’ budget recommends providing 92 FTE positions to expand the intensive treatment program at NWC to address the growing list of people with intellectual disabilities who are referred for treatment by the program.
Last revised March 2, 2023