HARRISBURG – Legislation authored by Rep. Rob Kauffman (R-Franklin) to ensure completion of long-awaited updates to the Unemployment Compensation (UC) program’s computer benefits system and set an end date of state supplemental funding for the program was signed into law today.
“Legislative action was needed in order to clarify parameters for both the funding and completion of upgrades needed for the state’s UC system,” said Kauffman, chairman of the House Labor and Industry Committee. “Through working together with members from both sides of the aisle, as well as administration officials, we were able to reach a compromise that all parties agree will get us to the finish line in terms of needed financial commitments and improvements for the UC system. I am glad we were able to get this legislation completed and signed into law in a such short timeframe. Now it is up to the Department of Labor and Industry to move forward with the project and make the necessary adjustments to improve operations.”
The new law establishes a four-year plan for state supplemental payments. During that four-year period, the state will provide a total of $115.2 million in funding for the Department of Labor and Industry to implement a modern, efficient UC system and transition to a budget that can be covered by federal funding totaling approximately $130 million per year.
Kauffman noted that once state supplemental funding comes to an end, the system will continue to operate using recurring federal funding, along with penalty and interest fees collected from claimants and employers.
“This new law will prevent a repeat of the type of crisis we had last year when the department laid off hundreds of employees and shut down some of its call centers right before Christmas,” said Kauffman. “I look forward to seeing the expected improvements being made by the department put into action in the very near future.”
Representative Rob Kauffman
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Tricia Lehman