Senate Passes Armstrong UI Bill, Other Workforce Reforms

Assembly Passes DSPS Reforms 

MADISON, WI – Today the Senate concurred in a legislative package intended to address Wisconsin’s labor shortage.  This package, which the Assembly had passed in April, includes Assembly Bill 147, which State Rep. Dave Armstrong (R-Rice Lake) introduced to combat fraud in the unemployment insurance (UI) program.  The proposals will now go to Governor Evers for his consideration.

“I am thrilled by the Senate’s actions,” Representative Armstrong said.  “AB 147 reinforces UI’s main mission – to provide financial assistance to people who have lost their job through no fault of their own as they seek new employment.” 

AB 147 expands the definition of “misconduct” to include wrongful activities such as possessing or using an employer’s property without authorization, or violating an employer’s social media policy.  AB 147 also requires the Department of Workforce Development to conduct random audits for 50% of reported work-search actions to make sure that UI claimants are indeed looking for work.

The Assembly also met today.  It passed a series of bills to improve Wisconsin’s professional credentialing process, Assembly Bills 200, 201, 202, 203, 204, 205, and 206.

“During my first term in the Assembly, I heard from many constituents who were frustrated with how long it was taking the Department of Safety and Professional Services to process and approve their license applications,” Representative Armstrong explained.  “These were people who’d put in the hard work to become doctors, nurses, psychologists, and social workers – but they couldn’t actually work in Wisconsin because their applications were stuck in DSPS limbo.

“The bills my colleagues and I passed will help speed up the process for many applicants, and they will also improve transparency so that the Legislature and the public can identify where DSPS isn’t performing as well as it should be.”

The Assembly also passed, with Representative Armstrong’s support, proposals to create a lemon law for farm equipment (Assembly Bill 14) and to make financial literacy a high school graduation requirement (Assembly Bill 109), among other legislation.