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GOP legislators seek to change unemployment benefit rules

April 06, 2023 11:43 AM

By: Jimmie Kaska

MADISON, Wis. (Civic Media) – Republican legislators in Wisconsin are seeking to reintroduce bills that would change certain unemployment benefit rules, according to a report from the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.

One of the proposals, which have not formally been introduced yet, would tie the period of time in which benefits could be received to the unemployment rate in Wisconsin.

It’s nearly the same as one already vetoed by Gov. Evers in the last legislative session, in which unemployment benefits would be paid out for a maximum of 26 weeks if the state’s unemployment rate was at 9% or above and as few as 14 weeks if the unemployment rate in Wisconsin was at 3.5% or below. The full table from the vetoed bill shows that each half-point between 3.5% and 9% would add or subtract a week of benefit eligibility.

According to the Journal-Sentinel, other bills introduced include changing parts of the state’s program for unemployment and changing how the Department of Workforce Development handles work searches. The bills come as Wisconsin voters overwhelmingly approved a non-binding referendum in Tuesday’s election, which asked, “Shall able-bodied, childless adults be required to look for work in order to receive taxpayer-funded welfare benefits?”

The bills introduced Wednesday do not yet have bill numbers, according to the Journal-Sentinel.

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