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MADISON — Governor Scott Walker recently approved an emergency rule submitted by the Department of Workforce Development (DWD), which requires certain Wisconsin citizens receiving unemployment insurance (UI) to pass a drug test.
“This new rule brings us one step closer to moving Wisconsinites from government dependence to true independence,” Governor Walker said. “We frequently hear from employers that they have good paying jobs, but they need their workers to be drug-free. This rule is a common-sense reform which strengthens our workforce by helping people find and keep a family supporting job.”
Under this newly approved rule, if someone on UI fails a drug test or refuses to take one from an employer as part of an offer of employment, he or she can be denied UI benefits. Those who fail the drug test must comply with substance abuse treatment and a job skills assessment to remain eligible for UI benefits. The rule will take effect with official publication later this week.
By being good stewards of the taxpayers’ dollar and fighting fraud and abuse, Wisconsin transformed its unemployment insurance trust fund from a $1.3 billion deficit in 2010 to a $743 million positive balance, and employers now pay less UI tax as a result of these efforts.