Get PolitiFact in your inbox.

By D.L. Davis July 5, 2022

No progress made on 'Ban the box'

Gov. Tony Evers included a so-called "ban the box" provision in his 2019-20 budget, but it was stripped out by Republicans in the Legislature, so at that time we rated the measure Stalled. Evers proposed the change again in his 2021-23 budget.  

"Currently, 13 states and the District of Columbia prohibit private employers from asking applicants to identify whether they have criminal records, including Illinois and Minnesota," Britt Cudaback, Evers' spokesperson, told us in March 2021. "The governor's budget would prevent a prospective employer from requesting conviction information from a job applicant before the applicant receives a job interview. This would apply, too, for crimes that have been expunged."

In 2016, then-Gov. Scott Walker, a Republican, signed the 2015 Wisconsin Act 150, which incorporated a "ban the box" provision as part of a Civil Service reform measure. 

But that applied to state hires through the civil service process.

Ever's proposal would apply to all employers in the state. 

And while he made an effort on it, the bottom line is this goal has not been met in his first term – and with the Legislature out of session for the year, there's no path to getting it passed this year.

We rate this Promise Broken.


Our Sources

PolitiFact Wisconsin Evers-O-Meter

PolitiFact Wisconsin Evers-O-Meter, March 26, 2019.

Governor's Task Force on Broadband Access, 2021

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel "Wisconsin awards $125M in rural internet service grants. Which communities will receive higher speeds?" June 24, 2022

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel "Inmates say they will stop eating to persuade Tony Evers 'to make good' on campaign pledge to reduce solitary confinement," March 27, 2019.

PolitiFact Wisconsin Evers-O-Meter, April 18, 2019.

PolitiFact Wisconsin Evers-O-Meter, March 9, 2021.

Budget in Brief, Feb. 2021

PolitiFact Wisconsin Evers-O-Meter, Jan. 19, 2021

Budget in Brief, 2021-23

Gov. Tony Evers, Executive Orders

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel "As Congress passes new gun controls, what to know about Wisconsin's laws on concealed carry, age limits and more," June 30, 2022 "Republican Party of Wisconsin Resolutions 2022"

PolitiFact Wisconsin Evers-O-Meter, March 9, 2021.

Justia Regulations "Wisconsin Administrative Code Department of Corrections Chapter DOC 308 - Administrative Confinement Section DOC 308.04 - Administrative confinement," March 28, 2022

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel "Wisconsin Democrats call for stricter gun laws, GOP candidate Nicholson seeks more armed security after Texas school shootings," May 22, 2022

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel   """"""" "Nearly everyone supports universal background checks for gun buyers. Here's why Wisconsin is unlikely to make it law," Aug. 7, 2019


Eric Litke
By Eric Litke January 28, 2020

Legislature puts kibosh on box ban

Gov. Tony Evers' campaign website promised to "ban the box" -- prohibiting businesses from asking applicants about their criminal history.

His first budget sought to do that, specifying that employment discrimination would include requesting criminal histories from a job applicant or otherwise investigating their criminal history before the applicant has been selected for an interview. Employers could still notify applicants that particular convictions would disqualify them from employment.

"We have to reduce employment barriers and empower the folks re-entering our communities with the skills and support they need to live a better life," Evers said in his Feb. 28, 2019, budget address.

The Republican-controlled Legislature deleted the provision.

Evers spokeswoman Melissa Baldauff said the governor "will continue to advocate for this." 

But with no progress so far, we rate this promise Stalled.

Our Sources

Latest Fact-checks