By Representative Edming 87th Assembly District
On Wednesday evening the Wisconsin State Supreme Court issued their decision in Wisconsin Legislature v. Palm, ruling in favor of the Legislature. In their ruling, the court found that the extension of the "Safer at Home" order or Emergency Order # 28 that was issued by Department of Health Services (DHS) Secretary-designee Andrea Palm did not follow the emergency rule process as outlined in state law and that the secretary-designee exceeded her statutory authority making the order unenforceable.
While the state-wide order is no longer in effect, local health departments may still institute restrictions. As you may have heard, some areas of the state such as Dane and Brown Counties have instituted their own measures. At the time of this update, I am not aware of any local restrictions issued within the 87th Assembly District. With that said, if you are a business owner who chooses to reopen, I encourage you to review and follow the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) guidelines, as well as those from the Center for Disease Control (CDC). These guidelines are good advice on how to keep you, your customers, and your employees safe. For those with additional questions, our local health departments are also good resources.
With the court's ruling, any regulations that Governor Evers or DHS wishes to put in place must go through the emergency rulemaking process that is outlined in state law which allows for oversight by the legislature through the Joint Committee for Review of Administrative Rules (JCRAR). Earlier this week, DHS issued a scope statement which is the first step in the rulemaking process and I look forward to it including input from the citizens of Wisconsin and their elected representatives.
The Impact of the Court's Ruling on UI
Due to the economic shutdown over the past couple of months, unemployment insurance (UI) claims have skyrocketed in our state and around the nation. Since the Supreme Court's ruling earlier this week I know there are likely a lot of folks wondering how it impacts their UI claims. According to the Department of Workforce Development (DWD), any submitted or pending claims will not be impacted and benefits will continue to be paid to eligible claimants, even if the person returns to work before their claim is deemed eligible. Federal programs including Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC), Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA), or Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC), will also not be affected. On March 12th, Governor Evers waived work search requirements in Wisconsin. This is still in effect through September 2020.
DWD has issued guidance regarding the decision. You can find ithere. For example, if an employer now has work for an employee who was laid off or furloughed and that employee refuses to return to work, this will cause an eligibility issue that must be adjudicated. Current claims in adjudication at DWD are taking up to 30 days to process. If your claim has been in adjudication for longer than 30 days, please let me or my staff know and we will do what we can to help you out. Send me an email at Rep.Edming@legis.wi.gov with 1.) your full name, 2.) your phone number, 3.) the status of your claim (including the date you initially filed), and 4.) the reason for your inquiry.