In a surprise session on February 17th, the Joint Finance Committee met to discuss unemployment proposals to take advantage of some federal dollars from the Continuing Assistance Act and the Department’s effort to fund a new mainframe computer system.

The substitute amendment that was passed unanimously (?!) will:

  • start the process for a request for proposals (RFP) for the new computing system (but does not provide any actual funding),
  • extend the waiting week waiver to 14 March 2021,
  • expand the waiver of benefit charging for employers for separations to separations occurring from 15 March 2020 thru 13 March 2021 and end the need for employers specifically to ask for charging relief,
  • extend to 4 July 2021 the work-share changes that make employer adoption easier (work-share has been one of the few unemployment success stories in Wisconsin), and
  • in a surprise move, allow Wisconsin to take advantage of a second round of Extended Benefits supported by federal dollars (Wisconsin triggered off of Extended Benefits on 7 November 2020).

Details about the hearing and the actions taken are available courtesy of a Wisconsin Examiner story.

The Department’s implementation of the extended PUA and PEUC benefits and the new MEUC benefit program under the Continued Assistance Act remain delayed significantly.

  • PEUC: 4 March 2021
  • PUA: 21 April 2021
  • MEUC: 28 April 2021

See this prior post for more information.