Evers Blunts Legislative Measure to End Extra Unemployment Benefit

Madison – The Republican-controlled Wisconsin Legislature voted in early June to eliminate the $300-a-week federal bonus for unemployed people. On June 29, Gov. Tony Evers vetoed the measure, as he indicated he would.

The federal payment had been approved during the coronavirus pandemic and was scheduled to end Sept. 6. Wisconsin legislators said the extra money gave people a reason not to work, exacerbating labor shortages. Twenty-five states had already approved ending it early by the time the Wisconsin Legislature sent its measure to the governor.

In his veto message, Evers said he objected to the “interference and encroachment by the Legislature on the executive branch’s constitutional and statutory authority to administer programs and policies.” 

He also said the bill would eliminate economic assistance for individuals whose employers or occupations have been most adversely affected by the pandemic.

“There is a lack of evidence to support the notion that eliminating supplemental unemployment insurance benefits would bring more individuals into the workforce,” Evers wrote.