Stephanie Klett Secretary, Department of Tourism 201 West Washington Avenue Madison, WI 53703
Dear Secretary Klett,
We are writing about an issue of great importance to the tourism industry in Northern Wisconsin. As you may know, late extraordinary session legislation tonight includes a provision that would codify an extremely harmful rule change made by the Department of Workforce Development.
Seasonal employers, especially in Wisconsin’s tourism industry, had long been able to rely on retaining experienced and talented seasonal workers thanks to the way our UI System was administered. However, the state’s Department of Workforce Development cut the number of weeks an employee who is likely to be rehired can draw unemployment during a seasonal layoff to a maximum of just 12 weeks, far shorter than our Wisconsin winters.
This change was the subject of 75% of comments submitted to the Unemployment Insurance Advisory Council when it occurred. Tourism employers were well represented among the businesses commenting on this change.
We know you are aware of the significant challenges tourism businesses face in retaining quality employees, especially in our part of the state. The change that Senate Bill 886 would write into law forces employees to engage in fruitless searches for work that too often force them to leave the area.
As members of the Governor’s Council on Tourism, we ask you to join us in supporting tourism employers by asking Governor Walker to veto this bill
Janet Bewley State Senator 257 District
Jill Billings State Representative 95th Assembly District