Milwaukee's Democratic legislators have written a letter asking the legislature's majority leaders to call a special session to enact legalisation enabling Wisconsin to secure $89 million in federal extended unemployment benefits.
10,000 unemployed workers in the state have run out of unemployment insurance benefits because of the legislature's failure to act.
Two weeks ago the New York Times wrote that Wisconsin and Arizona were among a handful of states that were refusing to accept federal aid for "ideological reasons." A Wisconsin Manufacturer's and Commerce (WMC) spokesman claimed that the extended benefits were unnecessary and discouraged the unemployed from seeking work.
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel followed up the Times' expose with a front page article that reported that Governor Walker supported extending the benefits, but did think they would create jobs, an unsubstantiated declaration that contradicts economic research that concludes extending unemployment benefits is among the strongest job creating policies governments can implement.
Following a demonstration in front of her legislative office earlier this week, State Senator Alberta Darling, co-chair of the powerful joint finance committee, claimed that she supported taking the money and assisting the unemployed.
Yet neither Darling, the Fitzgerald brothers nor Governor Walker have taken any steps to secure the $89 million that would not cost the state a single penny.
Their lack of urgency stands in sharp contrast to their actions immediately after Walker assumed office when they convened a special session to enact approximately $140 million in tax breaks for corporations and investors..
The failure of Darling, Walker and the Fitzgeralds to act is an outrage and immoral.
More than 10,000 hard-working, tax-paying Wisconsinites who lost their jobs through no fault of their own have run out of benefits. Many have lost their homes or are at risk of losing them. Others have been forced to drop out of school diminishing their hope for reemployment through retraining.
Wisconsin has a jobs shortage. Nationally there are 4.6 job seekers for every job.
It is time for Darling, Walker and the GOP to put up or shut up.
Call a special session immediately or justify your refusal to accept the federal money to the public and the state's unemployed.