By SCOTT BAUER
MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Wisconsin Assembly Republicans failed Tuesday in an attempt to override Gov. Tony Evers’ veto of a bill ending $300 a week in federal unemployment aid.
Republicans fell five votes short of the two-thirds majority needed to override, with no Democrats joining them in the effort to override.
Republicans argued that the $300 federal payment, on top of Wisconsin’s weekly $370 unemployment benefit, was motivating people to not search for jobs, only worsening the state’s worker shortage problem. The money was approved by Congress as a way to help the unemployed during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The payment is set to expire on Sept. 6.
Doing away with the extra payment sooner is not a “silver bullet” for the worker shortage problem, Assembly Speaker Robin Vos said, but keeping it is a “major part of the problem.”
Wisconsin has faced a worker shortage for years and Democrats argued the solution was more complicated than simply ending the unemployment benefit.
Democrats tried to make the debate about education funding, focusing on Evers’ special session call to increase K-12 funding by $440 million and higher education by $110 million. Republicans rejected the call as a political ploy, saying they had no plan to revisit the education budget that was signed into law by
Evers just over two weeks ago.