"This was not a last-minute ask, but rather what should have been a logical conclusion to conversations that began in April about extending a statute that was already in place and that has allowed the department to administer unemployment benefits in a timely manner."
HB2375 was crafted in response to the sunset of Act 34, which provided a four-year transfer from the state's Unemployment Compensation (UC) Fund to the Unemployment Compensation Service and Infrastructure Improvement Fund to improve the quality, efficiency and timeliness of UC services and to work to replace the department's 40-year-old Legacy computer system.
The department used Act 34 funds to reduce call wait times by more than an hour in the past two years and in 2016 the system met goals set by the federal Department of Labor that it had failed previously.
Early in 2016, the department asked for $57.5 million in funding to keep up planned system improvements amidst decreased federal funding for UC administration.
"Without the $57.5 million in funding, there is simply not enough money to pay staff," Manderino said. "The department has made great strides in efficiency and now, due to the Senate's lack of action, those strides – and service to our state's unemployed – have been jeopardized."
MEDIA CONTACT: Sara Goulet, 717-787-7530
To view the original version on PR Newswire, visit:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/pa-labor--industry-to-lay-off-600-300365547.html
SOURCE Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry