MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Benefits paid to unemployed people in Wisconsin would be reduced by $37 million over the next two years under a Republican-backed plan approved by the Legislature's budget-writing committee.
The Republican-controlled Joint Finance Committee approved the changes Wednesday on a party line vote.
Various provisions approved by the committee would make it more difficult to receive unemployment benefits by changing rules regarding voluntary termination of work, misconduct and substantial fault, and work search.
Republicans say the changes are common sense and long overdue. But Democrats say they are mean-spirited and will hurt people in need.
Under all the changes, the state's unemployment reserve fund would go from having a projected $10 million shortfall next year to a $15 million positive balance.