State Assembly Republicans have a plan to assist thousands of people still waiting to have their unemployment claims sorted out, by the Department of Workforce Development.

Majority Leader Jim Steinke spoke during a press conference at the Capitol on Wednesday.

“How long are these 140,000 people supposed to wait? How long can people go without any income, without being able to pay their bills? And how long are we going to tolerate the excuses from the administration , without any real action on solving the problem.”

They want Governor Tony Evers to use some of the state’s remaining federal CARES Act relief money to provide bridge loans to those who are still waiting.

“We’re calling on Governor Evers to step up, and give Wisconsinites the hand up that they need. Currently there’s over $280 million left of Wisconsin’s share of the CARES Act. So the question is, why is the governor not using that money to provide bridge loans, to the folks that are waiting for their unemployment claims to be approved?.”

Steinke said the bridge loans could be administered by a state agency other than Workforce Development – such as the Department of Revenue – to allow DWD to keep focusing on processing claims.

“We need to do more to help people who have been waiting weeks or even months for unemployment benefits after losing their jobs due to the coronavirus pandemic,” said Speaker Robin Vos. in a statement “People are tired of waiting for the Evers administration to get its act together and we’re all tired of the administration’s excuses. There are families who are struggling to get by and they need help now.”

Evers’ office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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