Providing Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Legislation, Gov Evers' Budget

 

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In This Issue

  1. Providing Tax Relief to our State's Businesses
  2. Unemployment Insurance Legislation
  3. Governor's Budget 
  4. Unemployment Filing Assistance
  5. In the District
  6. Contacting My Office

Providing Tax Relief to our State's Businesses

The Assembly voted last week on Assembly Bill 2 (AB 2). One of the most significant parts of this bill addressed Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans. Earlier this month the Department of Revenue (DOR) decided they were going to tax the loans that many of our small businesses used to get through this pandemic. This potential action would affect over 108,000 business in our state, but was not the intention of Congress when they passed the measure last December. 

I am happy to report the governor aligned with the Republicans in the effort to provide almost $480 million in tax relief and ensure the PPP loans are not taxed by the state. The governor's signature marks the first bill he has signed into law this session, Act 1


Unemployment Insurance Legislation

 The Assembly will vote next Tuesday on Special Session Senate Bill 1 (SSSB1). The legislation mandates the governor to update the unemployment information technology system to speed up paying claims for our citizens who are unemployed. Previous attempts were made to address this in the Joint Finance Committee and the governor has rebuffed those moves. 

This legislation will force the executive branch to move on a variety of issues to reform the Department of Workforce Development (DWD). In addition, the Senate approved an amendment to this bill to provide liability exemption for our state's businesses related to COVID-19 injury or death, except in the case of reckless or wanton conduct or intentional misconduct. This is an important provision to deter frivolous lawsuits and to assist in fully reopening our state's economy. 

The governor has indicated he will sign the legislation should the Assembly pass it on Tuesday. 


Governor's Budget

 

Last Tuesday, the governor unveiled his 2021-23 biennial budget with a price tag of $91 billion. He proposes spending $45.4 billion in fiscal year (FY) 2021-22 and $45.6 in FY 2022-23. 

The bill is now in the Joint Finance Committee. The committee will seek testimony from citizens around the state and amend the bill as they see fit before the Assembly and Senate vote on it. 

Below is a list of some of the provisions in the budget with which I have concerns and want to bring to your attention: 

* $8 billion increase in government spending (nearly 10% from previous budget)

$1 billion tax increase (not including increased energy taxes)

Repeals Act 10 reforms ($14 billion in taxpayer savings over the past decade)

Increases the size of state government by adding 308 positions

Expands welfare

Repeals Right-to-Work, which protects worker freedoms 

Raises taxes on job-creating manufacturers by nearly $500 million

* Fully legalizes recreational marijuana

* Creates a fully state-based ObamaCare exchange

* Provides the option for higher local sales taxes

* Creates an estimated structural deficit of -$1.3 billion by FY 25

* Moves the GAAP deficit from a positive $1.5 million at the end of FY 20 to a deficit of -$938 million

 


Unemployment Filing Assistance

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My office has received dozens of cases of individuals having waited 10+ weeks for their unemployment benefits after filing their initial claim. If you find yourself in this situation, I can submit an inquiry to the Department of Workforce Development (DWD) on your behalf.

To get the process started, please e-mail my office at rep.wichgers@legis.wisconsin.gov with all of the following information:

• Full Name of Claimant (Last, First, Middle Initial):
• Address:
• Phone Number:
• Date of UI Application:
• Date of Birth and Last Four Digits of SSN:
• Status of Application (trying to file initial claim, in appeal, etc.):
• Reason for Inquiry (can't get through by phone, unanswered questions, etc.):

If you need to file your initial claim, you may do so here.


In the District


Last week I had the pleasure of meeting with Waukesha County's District Attorney, Sue Opper (pictured above) and Waukesha County's Clerk, Meg Wartman (pictured below). Our county is lucky to have these two dedicated women working on our behalf. 


Contacting My Office

My Capitol office is here to help you with general inquiries as well as questions and concerns regarding legislative matters. Feel free to contact me or my staff. We are always ready to assist you in your needs. Please visit my website for press releases and other Capitol updates.