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Lawmakers to Evers: Government dependency is paralyzing economy

Republican legislative leaders are urging Gov. Tony Evers to deal with the “unsustainable handouts” that have worsened Wisconsin’s worker shortage crisis.

In a letter inviting the Democrat to deliver his annual State of the State Address before a joint session of theLegislature on Feb. 15, Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R-Rochester) and Senate President Chris Kapenga (R-Delafield) note the significant pressures facing Wisconsin’s economy.

“One of the biggest struggles across our state has been filling the 130,000 job openings, while we have 93,000 people who are currently not working. Employers continue to offer incentives, but government dependency has paralyzed many and pushed them away from self-dependency,” the lawmakers wrote.

Earlier this year, Evers refused to end federal unemployment bonus payments that kept jobless Wisconsinites from looking for work. He then vetoed legislation stopping the subsidies.

Evers has sole discretion over billions of dollars in federal COVID relief funding that he has handed out like Santa Claus over the last year and a half.

“The pandemic presented us all with challenges; there is no doubt, but short-term assistance has quickly turned into long-term, unsustainable handouts,” the lawmakers wrote.

Here’s the full letter.

Dear Governor Evers:

One of the biggest struggles across our state has been filling the 130,000 job openings, while we have 93,000 people who are currently not working. Employers continue to offer incentives, but government dependency has paralyzed many and pushed them away from self-dependency.

The pandemic presented us all with challenges; there is no doubt, but short-term assistance has quickly turned into long-term, unsustainable handouts.

In addition to labor shortages, there are supply shortages and soaring inflation rates, causing families to have to pay significantly more on items such as food and gasoline. Real people are struggling with these pocketbook issues. Wisconsin, with its proud work ethic, needs to get back on track.

We welcome your input on how you plan to best address the challenges facing the state of Wisconsin.  In addition, citizens would like to get an updated balance of the federal dollars under your unilateral control.

It is our honor to invite you to deliver the State of the State address live and in-person to a joint session of the Wisconsin State Legislature on February 15, 2022, at 7 p.m. in the Assembly Chambers. 

We look forward to hearing the address and thank you for considering this request.

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