Wisconsin Republicans seek to tighten unemployment benefits

MADISON, Wis. (AP) – Wisconsin Republican lawmakers have introduced a package of legislation that would tighten eligibility for unemployment benefits and Medicaid coverage.

Republicans said Tuesday that the bills are designed to get more people into the workforce and address what they maintain is a crippling labor shortage in the state.

The sweeping package would require audits of recipients work searches and a state audit of attempts to prevent fraud. The bills also would shrink the length of time people can receive unemployment benefits as the unemployment rate drops and prohibit automatic renewal of Medicaid benefits.

It would strip Medicaid benefits from able-bodied childless adults who refuse a job offer and deny unemployment benefits to people who refuse job interviews or don’t show up.