A hearing takes place this morning at the Capitol discussing unemployment benefits. Senator Van Wanggaard (R-Racine) scheduled the hearing for legislation that would extend unemployment benefits for an additional 13 weeks. He says the money is 100 percent federally funded, so the extension will not add to Wisconsin’s unemployment fund debt.
“What I think most people are concerned about is number one this does not cost Wisconsin taxpayers any additional dollars directly from the state taxes. Obviously it’s tax dollars that would be coming from the federal government. So, it is coming out of one of our other pockets.”
Wanggaard says people should not view this as a handout or giveaway; many folks in our state rely on unemployment compensation as a necessary lifeline. He says this additional 13-week bridge will be a big help for their day-to-day needs.
“It’s gonna help them make ends meet and hopefully be able to help some of those stay in their homes and put food on their table.”
He says many folks in his district in Racine are suffering from joblessness, at a nearly 15 percent unemployment rate. And Janesville is severely affected, as well. Wanggaard says this additional money would be for jobless people who are eligible for checks and have been unemployed for less than 99 weeks.
Senate Bill 147 is the product of the Unemployment Insurance Council, which recommended the extension at its meeting last month.
The Senate Committee on Labor, Public Safety and Urban Affairs and the Assembly Committee on Labor and Workforce Development is holding a joint hearing at 10:00am in Room 412 East of the State Capitol.