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Republican legislators urge Gov. Evers to help Wisconsinites in limbo for unemployment benefits

LA CROSSE, Wis. (WXOW) - Representative Loren Oldenburg (R-Viroqua) and Tony Kurtz (R-Wonewoc) unveiled the GOP plan to help unemployed workers waiting to have their claim completed by the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development.

Assembly Republicans around the state joined Rep. Oldenburg and Rep. Kurtz presenting the new plan that they hope Governor Tony Evers will consider. The plan would utilize federal dollars from the CARES Act to provide forgivable loans to people waiting on approval for their unemployment benefits.

"Every day, there's somebody contacting my office that has been waiting 10-12 weeks, and they're at their wit's end," said Rep. Kurtz. "They really are, so I guess that's my message to the governor. 'Please consider this'."

There are over 140,000 Wisconsinites waiting on their claims. Rep. Kurtz said that this is not a partisan effort and that he wants to find a solution quickly so people are not waiting until September or October to receive benefits.

"If he (Governor Evers) comes up with another idea, I know I would definitely listen to it because we just, we need to get money to these people now," said Rep. Kurtz. "They can't wait until October. They really can't."

Rep. Oldenburg said that loan repayments could go back into a trust fund which would supplement the state's unemployment program.

The Department of Workforce Development saw requests for benefits skyrocket with the onset of the pandemic which caused severe stress on the system.

They have since hired on more people to deal with the number of claims and have upgraded their system.

Mike Beiermeister

WXOW Weekend Anchor and Reporter

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