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Senate Approves Unemployment Changes Now Headed to Assembly

The state Senate has approved major changes to Wisconsin’s unemployment insurance program. Tuesday’s vote fell along party lines. Republicans approved the legislation; Democrats opposed it. The changes include higher weekly payments and a requirement that participants apply for four jobs a week, rather than two. The bill also eliminates instances when people can quit jobs and receive unemployment and gives the state access to personal bank accounts – if the fund pays an individual too much. Democrat Lena Taylor fought the banking provision.

“This seems like an unwarranted invasions of privacy to me. And perhaps since we want to make this the law of the land, we should include a provision that requires any company that doesn’t meet contract expectations to open their bank accounts to us, or maybe the people who don’t pay their taxes, right,” Taylor says.

Taylor says given the current uproar about the federal government collecting cell phone data, its surprising people would support the state legislation.  No Republicans testified.

They have insisted previously that changes are needed to put Wisconsin’s unemployment fund back on solid ground.

LaToya was a reporter with WUWM from 2006 to 2021.