Current Issues
Marklein and Vos introduce workforce recovery legislation
May 2021 — As the United States comes out of the pandemic, the economy has picked up steam and the hospitality industry is leading the charge to hire new workers and get back to pre-pandemic employment numbers. With over 40% of Wisconsinites vaccinated, we are beginning to see long-anticipated increases in business. The major problem facing most businesses is a lack of workers. Nationally, the unemployment rate is 6.1% while it is 3.8% in Wisconsin.
There are more job openings today than there were prior to March 2020, yet employers are struggling to fill available positions. A major contributing factor is that, in many cases, federal unemployment benefits pay more than an available job, especially in the hospitality industry.
To address the job shortage in Wisconsin, Sen. Marklein and Speaker Vos introduced Workforce Recovery Legislation which they say will encourage unemployed individuals to return-to-work. The legislation will end Wisconsin’s participation in the federal unemployment compensation enhancement program, as well as
  • Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program
  • Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation program
  • Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation program
  • Mixed Earner Unemployment Compensation program
The legislation also prohibits DWD from waiving the work search requirements for any reason related to COVID.
The legislators say 21 other states have opted out of the federal unemployment insurance benefit enhancers which expire on September 6, 2021 unless the federal government extends it.
The bill is likely to pass the Legislature but must be signed by Governor Evers to take effect. The Governor has not indicated his position on the proposed legislation.
Contact your legislator to support the Workforce Recovery Act.

Be an Industry Advocate

Occassionally, the TLW will send out alerts to members to take action on particular legislation. This is critical for the Tavern League's voice to be heard.

Contacting your legislators is easy and you can either email, call or write a letter. Find your legislator with the handy tool on this page, or go here.

Some tips when communicating with your legislators:
  • Pandemic Unemployment Assistance programBe brief. Legislators and their staffs are incredibly busy and so are you. They appreciate it when you get to the point and respect their time.
  • Be courteous. Always, always be courteous. A "How are you?" after the initial hello works wonders! On the other hand, being abrasive is almost always counterproductive, and it provides a good excuse to ignore your request.
  • Ask for a commitment. The point of contacting your legislator is to garner support for a bill or get their commitment to opposing a bill. After educating them on what what the bill does, ask them if they have taken a position on the bill. If they will not commit, then just encourage them to consider it.

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