Wisconson Plan to run for another two years

The controversial Mehalev welfare-to-work program, known by its nickname the Wisconsin Plan, will continue for another two years and be widened to include many more participants, according to an agreement reached Wednesday by Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Industry, Trade, and Labor Minister Eli Yishai. However, the two agreed that under the new terms of the program, unemployed over the age of 45 would not be forced to participate in Mehalev but rather seek employment assistance from the state Employment Service. The new arrangement has still to be approved by the cabinet but is expected to come up for discussion during Sunday's weekly cabinet meeting.