OAK CREEK, Wis. – State Representative Jessie Rodriguez (R-Oak Creek) was joined by her southeastern Wisconsin colleagues in Oak Creek on Wednesday afternoon for a press conference regarding unemployment. Assembly Republicans are calling on Governor Tony Evers to use a portion of the discretionary federal CARES Act funds to provide financial assistance to unemployed Wisconsinites.
“Many Wisconsinites were furloughed or laid off in March, and many individuals statewide have yet to receive any Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits,” said Rodriguez. “In the last several months, many of my neighbors have asked me for assistance getting in touch with the Department of Workforce Development (DWD) and sorting out their claim so they can begin receiving benefits and revisit bills that have piled up. These people are contacting my office for the first time and are desperately asking for help.”
Assembly Republicans are proposing that the Evers Administration develop a program to provide zero interest loans to claimants who are waiting for their claim to be adjudicated. Gov. Evers has sole discretion on spending funds from the CARES Act, and the administration could determine how they would administer such a program.
“The Governor has an opportunity to help the members of our communities who have been waiting for months for their unemployment claims to be adjudicated and paid,” said Rep. Rodriguez. “DWD has expressed concerns that it may take them into the fall to work through the claims backlog. Wisconsinites cannot wait until late October to receive the money they desperately need to pay their rent or mortgage, car payments and other bills. It is our hope that a program like this would give Wisconsinites relief while DWD works on reducing the claims backlog.”