GREEN BAY AREA REGIONAL NEWS: Brown County

Congressman Mike Gallagher proposes bill to get the jobless back to work by offering a signing bonus

Local News

GREEN BAY, Wis. (WFRV) – As more and more businesses express frustration in hiring employees, Representative Mike Gallagher (R-Wisconsin) proposes a bill to get the jobless back to work. It’s a bill proposing a signing bonus, paid for by converting federal pandemic unemployment compensation.

At KI people hard at work building furniture, at a company that employs 1,500 people in the state. And Tom Abrahamson says he could hire many more, but right now job candidates are few and far between.

“Right now, we’re looking for 102 full-time positions and typically that is not the case this time of year,” said the vice president of manufacturing for KI.

A lack of workers is a common complaint Rep. Mike Gallagher says he’s hearing from business owners

“We’re reaching out to them, trying to get them in for an interview and they just don’t show up,” said Aaron Wolf from Comfort Suites.

Who believe the federal government created the problem.

“Many businesses are pointing to the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation as one of the reasons why they can’t get people back to the workplace,” Gallagher said.

And Friday morning in a business roundtable discussion with those impacted.

“We’re probably down at all our properties at least 30% of staffing that we should have,” Wolf said.

Gallagher announced he’s doing something about it, by introducing this bill, the National Signing Bonus Act.

“The time has come for us to shift our focus from government support to economic resurgence,” said Gallagher.

The bill would convert the federal supplement funding the unemployed are receiving now into a re-employment signing bonus. If they return to work before July 4th, they’ll receive $1,212 after 4 weeks of verified employment and another $1,212 after 8 weeks of verified employment.

“This is designed to get as many people back in the workforce as possible and incentivize them to stay in the workforce,” said Gallagher.

“I’m not a big proponent of bribing people to go back to work. But if that’s what it takes to jump start the economy, get people off the sideline, get them working, get some extra money in their pockets, I think we got to give it a shot,” said Abrahamson.

An idea supported by both the Green Bay and Fox Cities chambers of commerce. Helping all of their members hurting for help.

U.S. Senator Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) introduced companion legislation in the Senate earlier this month.

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