HARRISBURG — Senator Wayne Langerholc, Jr. (R-35) issued the following statement today after the Senate passed, by a vote of 39 to 8, Senate Bill 250, legislation to ensure that Unemployment Compensation (UC) claimants can access benefits more quickly and efficiently, and that the UC system becomes more transparent and accountable:
“While I still have grave concerns about the operations of the Department of Labor and Industry, I voted for this legislation in order to help UC employees return to work and assist hardworking Pennsylvanians who have suffered from unacceptably long wait times for unemployment benefits. Although many serious questions remain, this legislation at least gets individuals back to work, expedites claims processing, and takes politics out of these decisions.
Senate Bill 250 transfers only $15 million, which does not constitute the full amount requested by the Department. This funding releases a lifeline until the Auditor General’s report on the UC system is completed. We restricted the funds to only claims processing, tax rate processing and employee assistance. The department must come back to the General Assembly with a future plan to eliminate the need for these funds or to close UC call centers.
The bill also requires the Department to provide the General Assembly with more information to determine the changes needed to ensure the long-term stability of the UC system technology platform.”
CONTACT: Gwenn Dando