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GOP leaders gavel in, gavel out of unemployment session

Wisconsin Capitol
Posted at 3:09 PM, Jan 19, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-19 16:14:33-05

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Republican legislative leaders have refused to take any action on Democratic Gov. Tony Evers' plan to upgrade the state's unemployment benefits system.

Evers announced a special legislative session on the plan during his State of the State speech earlier this month and called for the session to begin at noon on Tuesday.

Republican leaders in the Assembly gaveled in at 12:30 p.m. and immediately gaveled out. Senate Republicans followed suit a half hour later.

The state Department of Workforce Development has been struggling with millions of unemployment claims since the COVID-19 pandemic began last year. Republicans have accused Evers of making people wait for months for payouts. Evers has blamed an antiquated processing system for the delays.

Assembly Majority Leader Jim Steineke (R) released the following statement:

“What today’s special session illustrates is yet another instance of failed leadership by Governor Evers. Instead of using his office and the existing tools at his disposal to lead, our governor has shown yet again he prefers a scoop and shovel approach to problem solving.”

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