The decision to end the $300 federal unemployment benefit is now in the hands of Governor Tony Evers after both branches of the Wisconsin Legislature approved the measure on Wednesday. Both the Assembly and the Senate voted along party lines to end the untaxed benefit that was in addition to what was already being received by the state. Recent polling data showed that over 70 percent of Wisconsinites approve of ending the federal program, siding with Republicans and chambers of commerce that say it is incentivizing people to stay at home rather than going to work. State Rep. Joel Kitchens voted in favor of ending the benefit, adding many business owners in his district have told him how hard it is to find employees.
Opponents to ending the benefit say there are other factors to why people are not going back to work with the state’s unemployment rate below four percent. Kitchens does not refute that point, but believes something needs to be done.
Evers has already indicated he will likely veto the measure. Wisconsin could have been the 25th state to turn down the extra federal unemployment benefit.