“If there is an opportunity for you to work or increase your job and you turn that down, we will make sure the enforcement mechanism actually takes place,” Kapenga said. “We’ve never seen anyone lifted out of poverty on a welfare check.”
Evers spokesperson Britt Cudaback did not say whether Evers would rescind the proposed bills, but pointed to the governor’s allocation of $130 million in federal COVID funds to “innovative and community-based solutions to face the challenges of our state’s workforce head-on.”
The governor focused on efforts to help the unemployed find work opportunities, including nearly $60 million for 12 regional projects, which include funding to Madison Area Technical College to support those seeking employment in conservation and construction, as well as childcare providers to help parents enter the workforce.
“It’s great to hear Republicans now recognize the importance of these efforts,” Cudaback said. “Under Governor Evers, Wisconsin has one of the lowest unemployment rates in the country at 3% – tied with the lowest in state history – while continuing to be a national leader in our labor force participation rate.”
Currently, a person can receive up to $370 in weekly unemployment benefits from the state for 26 weeks. Under one of the proposed bills, the maximum number of weeks a claimant could receive benefits would be based on the state’s unemployment rate. Claimants would only receive 26 weeks of benefits if the state’s unemployment rate was above 9%.