The Lie: Rebecca Kleefisch has called for addressing the unemployment system. [1848 Project, The Forward Agenda, 8/31/21]
The Truth: Rebecca Kleefisch knew the unemployment system was overwhelmed when she was lieutenant governor and did nothing to fix it.
Wisconsin’s unemployment system has been widely known for being problematic since 2007. Lawmakers and officials knew in 2007 that the system to process claims needed an upgrade, and in 2014, under the Walker-Kleefisch administration, an audit showed that at one point up to 80% of calls to the Department of Workforce Development for help were blocked because of the system’s limitations during times of higher unemployment. Republicans declined to fix the problem. [Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 6/1/20]
Gov. Evers has called on the legislature to send him a bill to fix these problems multiple times, and every time, Republican legislators have refused. In January 2021, Gov. Evers proposed a $5 million plan that would quickly address the backlog and start desperately-needed upgrades. Within hours, Republicans shot down the proposal. Gov. Evers also tried to upgrade the 1970s era computers for the unemployment system in May 2021, which was also denied by Republicans. [Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 1/13/21] [Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 6/2/21]