Madison–State Representative John Nygren (R-Marinette), Co-Chair of the Joint Committee on Finance released the following statement:

“Over the last few weeks, I have been contacted by many constituents who have had trouble with the Department of Workforce Development (DWD) and receiving unemployment insurance,” said Rep. Nygren. “Given the unprecedented amount of individuals applying for unemployment assistance, DWD has been overwhelmed with requests. According to DWD, more than 313,000 Wisconsinites have applied for new unemployment benefits between March 15 and April 6. This is estimated at 18 times more than the same time period last year.”

“With that said, lives have been upended and the delays in addressing unemployment inquiries are unacceptable for the people of Wisconsin,” said Rep. Nygren. “Friends, family, and neighbors who applied for unemployment insurance have been waiting for weeks to receive payments.”

“If Governor Evers is going to have our state remain closed until May 26th or later, it is
imperative that the DWD, which is ultimately under his control, begin efficiently serving the taxpayers of Wisconsin. At no fault of their own, thousands of Wisconsinites are now unemployed.”

“Thanks to the federal government, DWD is eligible for $18.9 million in federal administrative funds,” said Rep. Nygren. “This federal funding helps with administrative costs like responding to and fulfilling requests. Additionally, the bill Governor Evers signed into law last week allows the Governor to transfer state employees between agencies. That would help add additional employees at DWD to assist with the increased workload immediately.”

“I urge Governor Evers and DWD Secretary Caleb Frostman to remedy this crisis.”

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