Minnesota, Wisconsin taking measures to help unpaid federal government workers

DULUTH, MN — Federal government workers are continuing to work without pay across the country, and state governments are working to make sure measures in place to help them.

On Tuesday morning, Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz pledged that state government won’t leave any Minnesotan behind as it works to fill gaps left by the partial federal government shutdown.

Surrounded by faith, community and governmental leaders on Tuesday, the Democratic governor said the shutdown represents “uncharted territory” and that his administration is still assessing all the implications.

But he says the state has measures in place to protect the most vulnerable Minnesotans, at least through the end of February.

He says all benefits are being paid, nobody in state government has been laid off, and he’s not asking the Legislature to come up with additional money yet.

Walz says his administration is working to try to ensure that the state gets fully reimbursed from the federal government for all the expenses it’s covering.

In Wisconsin, hundreds of federal workers in Wisconsin are seeking unemployment benefits from the state as the partial federal government shutdown continues.

The state Department of Workforce Development reported Tuesday that 426 unemployment claims were filed between Jan. 7 and Jan. 11. There are more than 29,000 federal workers in the state.

Furloughed federal workers are being encouraged by Gov. Tony Evers’ administration to apply for unemployment benefits to help them while they are not collecting their federal pay checks.

Affected workers are encouraged to provide wage verification through pay stubs or a W-2 form, as the state may be unable to verify it through their closed office.

Federal workers who are still on the job but not being paid are unable to collect state unemployment benefits, and those who receive back pay would be required to repay any unemployment benefits received.

Kaitlyn Moffett

Kaitlyn Moffett

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