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Wisconsin Republicans oppose extension of extra federal help for workersSubmitted: 06/12/2020
Wisconsin Republicans oppose extension of extra federal help for workers
Maya Reese
Maya Reese
Reporter/Digital Content Director
mreese@wjfw.com

MADISON - The ongoing response to the COVID-19 global health pandemic from Donald Trump and his administration plunged the nation into an economic crisis, leaving many Wisconsinites to deal with layoffs and job losses.

Now the state Republican Congressional delegation, led by U.S. Senator Ron Johnson, is opposing an extension of enhanced unemployment benefits, even as the recession drags on and unemployment rates remain at historically high levels.

"Wisconsin workers who've been laid off or lost their jobs shouldn't have to pay for the Trump administration's failure," said A Better Wisconsin Together Executive Director Nicole Safar. "That's exactly what Senator Johnson and the rest of the Wisconsin Republicans in Congress would do by refusing to extend extra federal help for unemployed workers during a recession."

As part of federal COVID-related "Paycheck Protection Program" relief legislation adopted in March, unemployed workers have been eligible for an additional $600 per month in federally funded unemployment insurance benefits. The authorization for the enhanced benefits expires in July. With unemployment remaining in double digits, an extension through the end of the year has been proposed by Democrats.

Safar noted that the crisis is even worse in communities of color, who've been disproportionately impacted by the COVID pandemic. Black unemployment and unemployment in other communities of color is significantly higher than the national and state average.

In an opinion piece authored by Senator Johnson, he claimed the additional benefits being provided to workers were "a glaring example" of the need to "reform" the program to prevent undeserving entities from receiving help. He went on to disparage Wisconsin workers, suggesting they are choosing to "stay unemployed" because of the temporary extra help they are eligible for.

Republican U.S. House Representatives from Wisconsin are following Johnson's lead. In a recent news report, they all indicated they were opposed to extending enhanced federal unemployment benefits beyond July.

Safar concluded, "It didn't have to be this way. Donald Trump dismissed the threat of COVID and delayed responding to the global health pandemic, triggering a recession that's left millions of workers unemployed or laid off. Wisconsin Republicans would make a bad situation even worse by taking help away from these same workers and their families."

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The plant is small. Itsleaves are about the size of a thumbnail and the whole plant is only three to eight inches tall in its full bloom.

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"We're hoping to collect seeds from the population," said Doyle. "Hopefully collect some capsules and at that point we can kind of preserve some options."

And its all thanks to one volunteer.

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If you are interested check out their website: 

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NATH hosts e-cycling fundraiserSubmitted: 08/14/2020

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RHINELANDER - Traffic slowed to a stand-still on Highway 8 West out of Rhinelander but not because of any accident or construction.

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"There's still a huge line of cars waiting to drop off their things and that's been going on since before we opened at 8. It's been a very busy and very successful fundraiser," say Rick Covin, Board Member for the Northwoods Alliance for Temporary Housing.

NATH operates Frederick's Place in Rhinelander. This is their third year partnering with The Good News Project out of Wausau to host the electronics recycling event.

"We're having anyone from the area able to bring their electronics, even vacuum cleaners, stereo systems, computers, TVs, monitors, and for a small fee which is much less than you would have to pay at the dump," says Covin.

A portion of the proceeds will go toward helping fund the shelter's operation. COVID and other complications forced NATH to cancel many of their successful fundraising events, like the Harvest Hoedown normally scheduled for October.

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