Lawmakers and trade groups are offering solutions to the Unemployment Insurance backlog after former Department of Workforce Development Secretary Caleb Frostman’s resignation.

Gov. Tony Evers asked for and received Frostman’s resignation Friday after seeing no significant progress on the backlog despite the state nearly tripling the number of people working to take and process claims. Monday’s update from the agency showed over 94,000 people were still awaiting checks.

Terry Hayden, president of the Wisconsin Pipe Trades Association and an employee representative of the Unemployment Insurance Advisory Council, said that while the department’s effort to bring in more bodies has “reduced the backlog significantly,” there is streamlining that can be done.

While still following the laws of program integrity, Hayden suggested further relaxing requirements, like the department did with the work search policy.

“It would potentially leave more people eligible for benefits but it would also streamline — there would be less claims that have to go through adjudication,” he said.

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