The Wisconsin Assembly voted unanimously on Tuesday, for legislation starting the task of updating the state’s unemployment insurance system. The Senate passed the bill, which was amended to include liability protections for businesses, last week.
Democratic Governor Tony Evers has said he will sign the bill. Speaker Robin Vos (R-Rochester) said the governor bears responsibility for thousands of people who waited months for benefits. “To literally have people where less than one percent of the calls were answered. And that took months to solve,” Vos said.
Evers had called a special session to deal with the Department of Workforce Development’s aging computers. Vos said that wasn’t necessary. “We know, he has the ability under current law,” he said. “The Fiscal Bureau has the memo. It was very clear, he could have done this weeks ago.”
The bill allows DWD to put out bids for the project, expected to cost at least $80 million dollars. But the agency will need permission from the legislature’s budget committee to proceed.