June 24, 2011
Sen. Larson, Fellow Legislators Request Floor Vote to Extend Unemployment Benefits  
Madison – Sen. Chris Larson (D–Milwaukee) joined other legislators today in requesting that Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald schedule a floor vote next week on legislation to extend unemployment benefits for Wisconsinites.
With a simple legislative change, Wisconsin would be able to capture nearly $90 million from the federal government to extend unemployment benefits in the state. These funds would not need to be repaid to the federal government.
“There is no question that extending unemployment benefits is paramount for our communities,” said Sen. Larson. “We must continue providing our neighbors who have been unable to find work during these tough economic times with the support that they desperately need.”
In order to receive these funds, states must have an average unemployment rate of 110% of the national average over a three-year look-back period. Wisconsin currently uses a two-year look-back period and would need to change state statutes to extend this time frame in order to meet the threshold to extend benefits. Yesterday, Wisconsin’s Unemployment Insurance Advisory Council voted unanimously to support the proposed legislative changes.
“Accepting these funds will allow our neighbors to continue paying their bills and supporting their families,” said Sen. Larson. “Extending these funds will also ensure that another $90 million is injected into our state, providing our local economies with a much-needed shot of adrenaline.”