Gallagher Introduces Bill to Help Wisconsinites Get Back to Work

May 27, 2021
Press Release

GREEN BAY, WI – Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-WI) this week introduced the National Signing Bonus Act of 2021, legislation that would reinvigorate the U.S. workforce by converting the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) plus-up into a limited-time signing bonus for new hires. In order to be eligible, individuals must be able to verify new and continued employment by July 4, 2021.

 

"Life is getting back to normal and our economy is ready to roar. But small businesses across Northeast Wisconsin are still struggling because of misguided policies that encourage Americans not to work," said Rep. Gallagher. "If Governor Evers isn't going to end this disastrous program -- as more than 20 other states have already done -- the least we can do is allow for states to spend these dollars in a way that actually encourages people to rejoin the workforce."

 

The bill would allow each state's department of labor to use FPUC funds to provide a re-employment bonus equal to more than two months of the federal enhanced unemployment benefit.

 

The bonus would be made in two payments to individuals who demonstrate new and continued employment. The first payment would be made after an individual can verify four weeks of employment, and the second payment will be made after an individual completes eight weeks of employment. Once they return to work, individuals would no longer be able to receive FPUC or other unemployment benefits.

 

This bill is supported by the Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce, the Greater Green Bay Chamber of Commerce, KI Manufacturing, and the Fox Cities Chamber of Commerce. 

 

“The workforce shortage has reached a crisis level in Wisconsin, and it has only been made worse because the enhanced unemployment benefits are a disincentive to work,” said Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce President & CEO Kurt Bauer. “The business community applauds Congressman Gallagher’s efforts to get people back to work with this legislation.”

 

"The 'National Signing Bonus Act of 2021' introduced by Congressman Gallagher is a direct answer to Wisconsin’s workforce shortage and the business community’s call for an end to the $300 weekly supplemental unemployment benefit. The bill will incentivize individuals to return to work, providing them with a “signing bonus” if they return before July 4th. Workers would receive $1,212 after four weeks of employer-verified work and another $1,212 after eight weeks of employer-verified work. The Greater Green Bay Chamber applauds Congressman Gallagher’s for introducing the 'National Signing Bonus Act of 2021' and calls for its passage and signing into law to assist Wisconsin in continuing to lower its unemployment rate and decrease its worker shortage," said Laurie Radtke, President and CEO of the Greater Green Bay Chamber of Commerce.

 

“We appreciate Congressman Gallagher’s leadership on this important issue,” said KI Vice President of Manufacturing Tom Abrahamson. “Not only will this bill strengthen KI’s ability to meet the needs of our customers, but it will also support the competitive position of all Wisconsin-based manufacturers.”

 

Senator Ben Sasse (R-NE) introduced companion legislation in the U.S. Senate. Click HERE for bill text.

 

Background:

 

This month, Rep. Gallagher joined Republicans in Wisconsin's Congressional delegation in calling on Governor Evers to end the FPUC program in the state of Wisconsin.

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