State Capitol, P.O. Box 7882, Madison, WI 53707-7882  |  Call Toll-Free: (800) 249-8173  |  Email Senator Carpenter  |  Subscribe to E-Updates

Republicans continue to leave those on Unemployment out in the cold:

Even as some of them voted to give their own businesses a tax break


(MADISON)—Today, Senator Tim Carpenter (D-Milwaukee) issued the following statement related to the failure of our state legislature to take actions to help those Wisconsinites who have lost work through no fault of their own:

“Yesterday during the session of the State Senate, a bill was brought before us that would, in part, provide a tax exemption for the income that some businesses received through loans granted through the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). This program was created by the federal CARES Act in order to help businesses hurt by the pandemic sustain their operations. The bill also allowed those businesses to claim a tax deduction on expenses that were covered using these tax-free loans.

“I produced an amendment to this bill that would offer a similar consideration for the Wisconsinites who have lost work through no fault of their own, and have applied for the unemployment programs offered through the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development in order to make ends meet during these devastating economic circumstances. It was rejected by the Majority party 19 votes to 13, with only one Republican, Senator Rob Cowles (R-Green Bay), voting to keep this amendment from being killed.

“My amendment would have allowed those who received Unemployment Compensation and Pandemic Unemployment Assistance to deduct up to $10,000 of the benefits they received from their state income taxes. This would have put an estimated $250 dollars back into their pockets on average, and kept them from paying taxes on these benefits during one of the most difficult times of their lives.

“Similar to the small businesses that have faced closure during the pandemic, these individuals deserve a windfall as many of them have had to spend all of their savings, lost their homes, cars, healthcare, and struggled to feed their families and pay their bills. On top of all this, many of them have been forced to wait months just to get through the unemployment protocols and receive a determination on their claim.

“The Legislature, under the control of the Republican party, has hardly achieved the bare minimum that is required to help those Wisconsinites who have lost work through no fault of their own over the last year. Delays in implementing CARES Act requirements lost our state $25 million at the beginning of the pandemic. It has now been over 300 days since the legislature took any action to fix these problems, and instead of treating these issues like a priority and moving forward the modernizations that the Governor has requested so that DWD may process claims in a more timely fashion, the chairs of the Joint Finance Committee are instead tying in unrelated provisions to the bills to force the Governor’s hand.

“This issue is a crisis that deserves the focus of all elements of our state government. It is time to stop playing games, and start taking actions that will help Wisconsinites in need.”