Wisconsin lawmakers move to reinstate work-search requirement

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Hiring signs are posted outside a gas station in Cranberry Township, Butler County, Pa., Wednesday, May 5, 2021. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is calling for Washington to immediately stop paying out-of-work Americans an extra $300 a week in unemployment benefits, Friday, May 7, saying the boost in government aid is giving some recipients less incentive to look for work. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Republican lawmakers are ready to reinstate a requirement that unemployed people look for work to qualify for benefits.

Democratic Gov. Tony Evers suspended the requirement in March 2020 as the COVID-19 pandemic was taking hold in the state, forcing businesses to close. Lawmakers have extended the suspension for months by passing emergency rules.

The Legislature’s Republican-controlled rules committee is set to vote on whether to reinstate the requirement Wednesday afternoon.

The requirement will automatically be reinstated in July, but Republicans want to move faster to alleviate a shortage of workers as the pandemic wanes and businesses reopen.

Republicans unveiled a bill on Tuesday that would end a $300 weekly federal unemployment supplement.

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