MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The Wisconsin Assembly has overwhelmingly passed a bipartisan bill designed to jump-start updates to the state’s antiquated unemployment claims processing system.

Gov. Tony Evers has promised to sign the bill which the Senate passed last week on a 27-3 vote. The Assembly passed it Tuesday 89-0.

Evers has taken intense criticism for months over a backlog of unemployment claims stemming from the coronavirus pandemic. He has largely blamed the state’s antiquated, 50-year-old computer processing system for handling the claims.

The bill as passed also waives the one-week waiting period for receiving unemployment benefits until March 14 and extends limited liability from COVID-related lawsuits to businesses, governments and schools.

Original Story: Assembly set to send unemployment bill to Evers

Feb 23, 2021, 08:18 a.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The state Assembly is set to sign off on a bill that would clear the way for updating Wisconsin’s antiquated unemployment insurance system.

Gov. Tony Evers has blamed the system for causing delays in processing claims filed during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The measure would allow state officials to use federal money to start upgrades and ask lawmakers for state dollars as needed.

The bill also would waive a one-week waiting period for collecting unemployment benefits until March 14 and extend limited liability for COVID-related injuries and deaths to businesses, governments and schools.

The Senate passed the bill last week. Assembly approval would send it to Evers, who has said he will sign it.