Once again, the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development is back in the news for all the wrong reasons. On top of massive delays in responding to and paying unemployment assistance during the pandemic, a federal government watchdog agency released a report that found significant racial disparities in how pandemic unemployment assistance was administered in Wisconsin.

The report found that Black applicants were half as likely to get pandemic unemployment assistance as their white counterparts.

This report comes on the heels of months of delays and hundreds of calls fielded by legislative offices from residents throughout the state who struggled to get in touch with workers at DWD to file unemployment. In many instances calls were never answered, voicemails were not returned, calls would be dropped and massive delays in paying out the assistance for those who did get approved.

For months the Evers administration and Democrats have tried desperately to avoid accepting responsibility for the unemployment debacle at DWD, but the reality is the continued failures of this agency lie squarely at the feet of Gov. Evers. It is time for the governor to accept responsibility for failing Wisconsinites who desperately needed help when he decided to shut down the entire state.

This is just another example of the governor’s inability to appoint agency leaders who are capable of fixing problems and successfully leading state agencies.

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