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Gov. Evers signs Executive Order calling special session to address unemployment

Gov. Tony Evers
Posted at 9:27 AM, Jan 13, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-13 17:48:23-05

Gov. Tony Evers signed an Executive Order calling for a special session of the Legislature to fix and "modernize" the state's unemployment system.

"I’m announcing today I will be calling a special session of the Legislature to take up a plan to modernize our unemployment system and help ensure nothing like this happens to the people of Wisconsin again,” Gov. Evers said in his State of the State address. “We know that replacing this system will take years—that’s why it should’ve been done sooner, but it’s also why we now have not another moment to waste. No politics, no posturing, send me the bill, and let’s just get it done.”

This comes after the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development (DWD) received 8.8 million unemployment claims since March, 1.6 million more claims than the four previous years combined.

Gov. Evers' plan will appropriate over $5.3 million, so the DWD can start working towards modernizing the unemployment system. The request for proposal process will get $481,700 of the allocated funds to hire consultants and select a vendor for the modernization.

Republicans issued the following responses:

“Governor Evers continues to cast blame on others and accepts little fault himself,” said Speaker Robin Vos (R-Rochester) in a statement. “We are always open to passing necessary legislation, but unfortunately, this Special Session call is about politics; not about policy.”

"Governor Evers already has the funding and tools he needs to fix the problems at DWD," said Senate Majority Leader Devin LeMahieu (R-Oostburg). "Now, instead of effectively using his resources, he's scrambling to shift blame while people are still left waiting."

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