Wisconsin Assembly votes to tighten public benefits

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The Wisconsin Assembly has approved a package of Republican-authored bills designed to force more people into the workforce by tightening eligibility for unemployment benefits and Medicaid coverage.

The bills passed Thursday despite Democratic opposition. The package goes next to the state Senate.

The legislation is almost certainly headed for vetoes by Democratic Gov. Tony Evers if it reaches his desk.

Still, the proposals give Republicans a platform to discuss the state’s worker shortage problem while making the case that part of what’s fueling it are public benefits that are too generous. Wisconsin’s unemployment rate hit a record low of 2.8% in December.