GOP legislative leaders send letter to Gov. Evers, urging him to 'immediately correct' unemployment issues

MADISON -- Wisconsin Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald and Assembly Speaker Robin Vos said Thursday, May 28 they hand-delivered a letter to Governor Tony Evers, urging him to "immediately correct" issues with the state's unemployment system amid the coronavirus pandemic, writing, "Time is short," with Wisconsin unemployment "soaring to a historic high of over 14%."This, a day after Wisconsin Republicans sparred with leaders in Evers' administration during a sometimes heated legislative hearing Wednesday, faulting them for not doing enough to quickly process surging unemployment claims during the coronavirus pandemic.The Senate labor committee hearing laid bare the partisan debate over who is to blame for the backlog of unprocessed claims.

Wisconsin's 'dark agency:' Legislative bureau denies public access to email, voting records

MILWAUKEE -- As COVID-19 forces Wisconsin state lawmakers to increasingly rely on technology, the bureau responsible for the legislature's technology support is refusing to release public records. "It's a cover-up," State Senator Tim Carpenter (D-Milwaukee) said. "This, in the big picture, is something that’s very dangerous." Carpenter was frustrated with his inability to be recognized during the Senate's recent floor session about COVID-19 legislation.

Wisconsin Republicans sue governor over stay-at-home order

MADISON -- Republicans who control the Wisconsin Legislature asked the state Supreme Court on Tuesday, April 21 to block an extension of the Democratic governor's stay-at-home order, the most partisan divide yet in the fight against the coronavirus.The lawsuit came even as Vice President Mike Pence said during a tour of a Madison ventilator manufacturer that social distancing and other mitigation efforts are slowing the spread of COVID-19.The lawsuit was expected after Gov.

Lt. Gov. Barnes talks election 'directed by the incomparable Speaker, Senate Majority leader duo'

MADISON -- Despite federal health recommendations, thousands of Wisconsin voters waited hours in long lines outside overcrowded polling stations on Tuesday, April 7 so they could participate in a presidential primary election that tested the limits of electoral politics in the midst of a pandemic.Thousands more stayed home, unwilling to risk their health even as Republican officials pushed forward with the election amid a stay-at-home order.

Wisconsin Republicans support waiving unemployment waiting period

MADISON — Wisconsin Republican legislative leaders said for the first time Wednesday that they support temporarily waiving a one-week waiting period for people to receive unemployment benefits as part of a state aid package in response to the coronavirus pandemic.In a joint news conference, Assembly Speaker Robin Vos and Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald criticized Democratic Gov.

Top Wisconsin official: Spring election faces many problems

MADISON — Wisconsin could face a litany of problems if it holds its spring election amid the coronavirus crisis, including a possible disruption in mail service interfering with absentee voting, a lack of polling sites and the risk of exposing elderly poll workers and voters to the disease, the state's chief elections officer said Wednesday.The election is scheduled for April 7.

Wisconsin Senate postpones session due to coronavirus

MADISON — The Wisconsin Senate will not convene for its final regular session day of the year as originally planned next week due to the spread of the coronavirus.Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald said Tuesday that the Senate will meet sometime later in the spring, but did not set a date.