1-14-21 wi republicans reject special session on unemployment claims system

Wisconsin Republicans have rejected Democatic Gov. Tony Evers’ call for a special legislative session next week to pass his plan to modernize the state’s unemployment claims system. Evers introduced a bill Wednesday morning that calls for the state Department of Workforce Development to conduct all transactions electronically and hands the department $5.3 million to renovate and modernize the claims system. He issued an executive order calling for a special session on the bill to begin at noon on Tuesday. Republican state senator Dan Feyen of Fond du Lac says a hearing was already scheduled for later this month regarding the state unemployment system.  “We’ve already scheduled a hearing for January 26 to deal with all the UI issues so we can start working on solutions come budget time if there’s expenses that need to be incurrred to upgrade systems,”  Feyen told WFDL news.  “…but also to look at processes to make sure unemployment is being handled in the right way.” Evers has sustained heavy criticism from Republicans over the DWD’s inability to process a massive backlog of unemployment claims sparked by coronavirus pandemic-related layoffs.   Republican leaders rejected the session call, saying Evers can make changes on his own.