Lawmakers Demand Unemployment Insurance Reform in Wisconsin

MacIver News Service | April 1, 2013

[Madison, Wisc…] Money that should be used to hire new workers in Wisconsin is being diverted to Washington for interest payments, resulting from flaws in the state’s unemployment insurance system, according to a group of Republican lawmakers.

Wisconsin’s Unemployment Reserve Fund dried up in 2009, and Wisconsin borrowed $1.6 billion from Washington. As the MacIver News Service reported on March 21, the state is paying about $60,000 a day in interest on that loan. Those payments come from special assessments being sent to Wisconsin employers in addition to their unemployment taxes.

“These are essentially punitive taxes that are going to Washington bureaucrats instead of toward hiring new workers or infrastructure investments,” reads a letter sent from the lawmakers to the Unemployment Insurance Advisory Council.

That council, made up of representatives from business and labor, acts as a gatekeeper for unemployment compensation policy in Wisconsin by providing the legislature with statute recommendations.

Now, these republican lawmakers are providing the council with recommendations. They want to see major reforms in the state’s unemployment insurance system in order to prevent Wisconsin’s Reserve Fund from going insolvent again leaving the state’s employers with the bill.

You can read their letter containing 33 items here through the Wheeler Report.