March 1, 2021


Modernizing Wisconsin's Unemployment Insurance System

Last week, the State Assembly unanimously passed a bill, Special Session Senate Bill 1, during special session that directs Governor Evers to modernize unemployment insurance (UI) information technology systems (IT). Unemployment delays have been causing troubles for folks all around Wisconsin, and I've worked on behalf of many residents in the district who have run into issues with these delays.

That's why I'm pleased to share that this bill requires the Department of Workforce Development (DWD) to issue a request for proposals from IT contractors within 30 days of the bill's signing. Projects to modernize the technology have to begin by June 30, 2021, and DWD is required to use available federal funds before moving on to state funds. On top of that, the bill eliminates the one week 'waiting period' for new UI claims submitted through March 14, 2021 and also protects schools, businesses and local governments from frivolous lawsuits. 

When the bill was before the State Senate earlier this month, it passed by a 27-3 vote, and Governor Evers signed it into law on February 26, 2021. While the bill won't be an instant fix for the unemployment backlog, I believe it's an important first step towards that goal. 

DWD Unemployment Update 

With the high number of unemployment claims being filed in Wisconsin and nationwide in recent months, delays in determinations and payments have been a too common occurrence. As a legislator, I'm able to reach out to DWD and make an inquiry on your behalf if you are experiencing issues or delays with your unemployment claim.

Click here to request an Unemployment Claim Inquiry

Buy Local, Buy Wisconsin Grants Available

Local businesses and farmers who are looking to expand in their local markets may be interested in applying for the Buy Local, Buy Wisconsin grant. Past grant recipients have been able to use the grant funds to expand in local markets, and generated millions in new local food sales. The Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection will be taking proposals until March 26, 2021, and grant recipients can request between $5,000 and $50,000. 

To qualify, applicants must be individuals, groups or businesses involved in Wisconsin production agriculture, food processing, distribution, or warehousing, retail food establishments or agricultural tourism. More information on eligibility and the application process can be found online at DATCP's Buy Local Buy Wisconsin Grant webpage.

COVID-19 Quick Links

Below are some quick links to essential COVID-19 resources and information:

Follow the Legislative Action

In order to stay up to date on any legislation, proposals, or your legislator, a free notification service is available through the Wisconsin State Legislature's website. You can sign up for nightly personalized email notifications based on our state's legislative activity. This is a wonderful way to stay informed about state politics and proposals that you are interested in.