FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: May 29, 2013
Contact: Rep. Chris Sinicki, 608.266.8588
Sen. Bob Jauch, 608.266.3510
State budget committee launches sneak attack on unemployed workers
Statements from ranking Democratic labor committee legislators Sinicki and Jauch
MADISON - Today the Legislature’s Joint Finance Committee approved changes that make it more difficult for laid-off workers to collect unemployment benefits when they have lost their jobs. For roughly eight decades the Unemployment Insurance (UI) Advisory Council, made up of representatives of employers and employees, has set this policy. Today Republicans on the Finance committee unilaterally took those duties upon themselves and defiantly passed anti-employee measures that the UI Council did not agree upon. They’ve forced changes to UI law into the state budget without any public hearing or scrutiny.
Wisconsin’s unemployment program was the model for the nation at its creation. Now, Republicans are seeking multiple changes that would profoundly change the program and tilt the it dramatically against employees.
In response to this Republican sneak attack on employees, Rep. Chris Sinicki (ranking Democrat, Assembly Committee on Labor ) and Sen. Bob Jauch (ranking Democrat, Senate Committee on Workforce Development, Forestry, Mining, and Revenue) released the following statements:
“Under Gov. Walker and the Republicans, Wisconsin has fallen to 44th in the nation in job creation. But, instead of focusing on putting people back to work, Republicans are focused on kicking jobless workers off unemployment,” said Rep. Sinicki. “Republicans want taxpayers to spend millions more on private schools and tax breaks for the rich, but they are kicking workers when they are down in a lagging economy that Republicans themselves created.”
“Rather than working together on bipartisan solutions agreed upon by employers and employees, Republicans are again dividing and polarizing Wisconsin citizens by ramming through measures into the budget that make life even harder for people who have lost their jobs in a down economy,” said Sen. Jauch. “This is incredibly short-sighted because unemployment is intended to maintain the workforce and because it allows people to keep paying their bills, it benefits our whole state economy.”