Governor Scott Walker said at a stop in La Crosse Thursday (1/17) that he supports changing the criteria for obtaining unemployment benefits.
The Small Business Regulatory Review Board laid out 300 recommendations in a report this week, some of which related to unemployment insurance.
The board suggests that people who are out of work and receiving unemployment benefits must now prove they searched for four jobs each week instead of the current two.
Governor Walker says it’s not an unrealistic goal for people: “We’re not saying this is the only way that we’re going to get people back to work, we’re just saying this is part of the reform we’re looking at, not only now but on an ongoing basis. It’s something we heard repeatedly from employers: employers saying — not in every case, but many cases around the state — feeling like they have jobs. They just didn’t feel like there were enough incentives for some, not all, but for some of the people to get working.”
Governor Walker says he also supports extending the time frame for unemployment benefits, especially for people who live in areas that lack job opportunities.
State Senator Jennifer Shilling of La Crosse says the state has to do its part to provide training or invest more money into the technical college system, “To tell someone who’s been unemployed for a matter of weeks or months that you have to look twice as hard this week, but yet we haven’t helped you with your jobs skills and your workforce development needs, that’s not really fitting the bill and helping the formula of how we get people from unemployed to employed in the state of Wisconsin.”
Ultimately, the legislature will have to approve any changes.