For Immediate Release: December 16, 2020
Contact: Senator Chris Kapenga (608) 266-9174
Senator Kapenga Outraged by Governor Evers’ Mismanagement of Unemployment Insurance
(Madison, WI) — State Senator Chris Kapenga (R–Delafield) released the following statement after the Joint Legislative Audit Committee held a public hearing on three Department of Workforce Development (DWD) audits:
"Governor Evers and DHS Secretary-designee Palm shut the state down in March and chose winners and losers through the Safer at Home order. The biggest losers were the hundreds of thousands of people put out of work through no fault of their own. Governor Evers and his Department of Workforce Development didn’t have a plan, and the non-partisan Legislative Audit Bureau (LAB) has exposed a number of failures by the Evers administration.
“The LAB found a number of serious issues including overpaying program benefits, refusing to turn over requested documents, 38.3 million telephone calls blocked or receiving busy signals, understaffing and taking months to resolve claims, to name just a few.
“As a member of the Joint Legislative Audit Committee, I am furious that the problems at DWD have been allowed to fester this long and that there are still tens of thousands of people waiting to hear back. As a lawmaker, these were the toughest calls I’ve ever taken and sadly continue to take. These aren’t just unemployment claimants…these are our friends, neighbors, and family members who have been left holding the bag.
“Make no mistake. The buck stops with Governor Evers, and he needs to own these failures. It took him finally following the Legislature’s advice and firing his Secretary of DWD to see some sort of meaningful action.”
Senator Kapenga represents the 33rd Senate District, which covers most of central Waukesha County and Lake Country.