UPDATE: Governor Walker Signs Bill Extending Jobless Benefits

UPDATED Wednesday, August 3, 2011 --- 5:25 p.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Gov. Scott Walker has signed a bill that clears the way for another 13 weeks of federal unemployment benefits for out-of-work Wisconsin residents.

The Senate passed the measure on Monday after a brief squabble within Republican ranks over whether the bill should do away with a one-week waiting period before the newly unemployed can collect their first checks.

The Senate amended the bill to wipe out the waiting period, but the Assembly reinstated it and sent the legislation back to the Senate. Majority Republicans approved the Assembly version, despite cries of flip-flopping from Democrats.

The bill makes $88 million in federal money available to people who exhaust their initial 73 weeks of benefits.

Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

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UPDATED Wednesday, August 3, 2011 --- 9:20 a.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Gov. Scott Walker plans to sign into law a bill that will make another 13 weeks of federal unemployment benefits available to out of work Wisconsin residents.

Walker planned to sign the bill Wednesday afternoon in Madison.

The Senate passed the measure on Monday. It had previously passed a version that also did away with a one-week waiting period before people can get their initial unemployment benefits.

But when the Assembly balked at doing away with the waiting period, the Senate passed the bill that kept it in place in order for the unemployment extension to be approved.

Walker was supportive of extending the benefits but not of doing away with the waiting period. That was part of his state budget and it kicks in next year.

Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

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UPDATED Wednesday, August 3, 2011 --- 7:00 a.m.

From the Governor's Office:

Madison—Today Governor Scott Walker will sign Senate Bill 147, legislation that allows up to 13 weeks of extended unemployment benefits for an eligible worker who has exhausted the regular and emergency unemployment benefits.

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UPDATED: Monday, August 1, 2011 --- 2:00 p.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- The state Senate has approved extending federal unemployment benefits.

The Republican-controlled Senate adopted a bill last month that would extend federal unemployment benefits by 13 weeks. In a surprise move, GOP senators adopted a Democratic amendment that would end a one-week waiting period before newly unemployed workers can collect their first checks. The waiting period was part of the state budget the Legislature passed in June.

Assembly Republicans, however, restored the waiting period and sent the bill back to the Senate. Both houses must pass an identical bill before it can go to Gov. Scott Walker for his signature.

The Senate adopted the Assembly version on a 19-14 party-line vote.

Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

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UPDATED Monday, August 1, 2011 --- 6:30 a.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- The state Senate is poised to consider whether to extend unemployment benefits -- again.

The Republican-controlled Senate last month adopted a bill that would extend federal unemployment benefits by 13 weeks.

In a surprise move, GOP senators adopted a Democratic amendment that would end a one-week waiting period before a newly unemployed person could collect his or her first benefits. The waiting period was part of the state budget the Legislature passed in June.

The Senate sent the bill to the Assembly, where Republicans restored the one-week waiting period and sent the bill back to the Senate. Both houses must pass an identical version before it can go to Gov. Scott Walker for his signature.

The Senate is expected to take up the bill again on Monday afternoon.

Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

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UPDATED Thursday, July 21, 2011 --- 12:06 p.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Democrats are urging Republicans in control of the Senate to come into session to vote on a bill extending unemployment benefits for 13 weeks.

Even the Republican sponsor of the bill, Sen. Van Wanggaard, on Thursday also publically called on Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald to schedule a vote on the bill.

Fitzgerald spokesman Andrew Welhouse says lawmakers are "in the heat of agreement" on extending the benefits and they will find a way to pass the measure.

The problem is the Senate approved the extension on Tuesday along with eliminating a one-week wait to receive initial unemployment checks. Assembly Republicans on Wednesday refused to go along with that part of the bill.

An identical version of the bill must pass both chambers before it goes to Gov. Scott Walker.

Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

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Posted Thursday, July 21, 2011 --- 10:00 a.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- No date has been set for when the Wisconsin state Senate may come into session to vote on extending unemployment benefits for jobless people.

A spokesman for bill sponsor Sen. Van Wanggaard says the Racine lawmaker is working behind the scenes to reach a deal that will bring the Senate back.

The Senate passed a bill Tuesday approving extending federal unemployment benefits for 13 weeks for people who have already exhausted all other state and federal benefits. But the Senate also voted to eliminate a one-week waiting period for people to start receiving benefits.

The Assembly reinstated the waiting period before it passed the extension of benefits Wednesday night.

Until both chambers agree on an identical bill, the 13-week benefits extension is in limbo.

Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.


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