I was joined by Senator Howard Marklein (R-Spring Green) in announcing workforce recovery legislation that encourages unemployed individuals to return-to-work amid a massive, statewide worker shortage. The legislation ends Wisconsin’s participation in federal unemployment compensation enhancement programs that provide a disincentive for returning to work.
The pandemic is now under control and we need to get people back into the workforce so Wisconsin's economy can continue its recovery. Our economy is reopening and millions are vaccinated. The federal enhancements only keep people on the sidelines while businesses who desperately need workers struggle to meet demand.
The bill ends Wisconsin’s participation in the following federal programs:
- Pandemic unemployment assistance (PUA) program
- Pandemic Emergency Unemployment compensation (PEUC) program
- Federal pandemic unemployment compensation (FPUC) program
- Mixed earner unemployment compensation (MEUC) program
On Wednesday, the Joint Committee for Review of Administrative Rules suspended the governor's emergency rule waiving the requirement that people collecting Unemployment Insurance actively search for work. Our bill will prohibit the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development (DWD) from waiving the work search requirements in the future for any reason that is related to COVID.
As of today, 21 other states have opted out of the federal unemployment insurance benefit enhancers, which are set to expire on September 6, 2021.
Once enacted, the Wisconsin unemployment compensation program will return to pre-pandemic operations and provide an ongoing safety net for those who need it.