Wisconsin Senate approves bills setting new unemployment benefit requirements

A package of Republican-authored bills that would set stricter qualification requirements to receive unemployment benefits has received final approval in the Wisconsin Legislature.

Associated Press

June 7, 2023

FacebookRedditGoogle ClassroomEmail
The U.S. and Wisconsin flags fly atop a flagpole on one wing of the Wisconsin Capitol building, framed by its dome in the background and a tree in the foreground.

(Credit: PBS Wisconsin)

AP News

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Wisconsin residents looking for work would face stricter requirements to qualify for unemployment benefits under a package of Republican-authored bills that received final approval in the Legislature on June 7.

Democratic Gov. Tony Evers vetoed nearly identical legislation in his first term, and it’s likely he will do the same again for the five measures the Republican-controlled Senate passed along party lines.

Republican Assembly Speaker Robin Vos has said he hopes Evers changes his mind after voters in April approved a non-binding ballot question that said able-bodied adults should have to look for work to receive government assistance.

Unemployment recipients in Wisconsin already must perform four work-search activities each week. Under one of the bills approved on June 7, employers would be able to report recipients who decline or don’t show up to an interview. People who have been reported multiple times and don’t have good reasons for declining or missing interviews could have their benefits rescinded.

Another bill would enact stricter identity verification checks for unemployment benefits.

Major conservative business groups, including the state chamber of commerce, the National Federation of Independent Business and the Opportunity Solutions Project have endorsed many of the bills, while local unions and Democrats oppose them.

Statement to the Communities We Serve

There is no place for racism in our society. We must work together as a community to ensure we no longer teach, or tolerate it.  Read the full statement.