H0129B0472A00710 SFR:JMT 04/15/21 #90 A00710
AMENDMENTS TO HOUSE BILL NO. 129
Sponsor: REPRESENTATIVE COX
Printer's No. 472
Amend Bill, page 1, line 17, by inserting after "procedure"
and for place of hearing
Amend Bill, page 1, lines 20 through 22, by striking out all
of said lines and inserting
Section 1. Sections 505 and 505.1 of the act of December 5,
1936 (2nd Sp.Sess., 1937 P.L.2897, No.1), known as the
Unemployment Compensation Law, are amended to read:
Amend Bill, page 2, by inserting between lines 7 and 8
(1) The board shall review and revise its rules to modernize
the methods by which hearings are conducted. Revised rules
shall:
(i) Provide for a transition from in-person and telephone
hearings to hearings conducted primarily via videoconference no
later than the effective date of the regulations promulgated in
accordance with paragraph (2)(v).
(ii) Allow parties and witnesses to participate by telephone
or other electronic means when videoconferencing is not
available.
(iii) Provide for the contents of the hearing notice,
including information on how to access the hearing and how to
request an in-person hearing for good cause.
(iv) Provide for the procedures for parties to submit
evidence and for the distribution of evidence during hearing
preparation, including methods to electronically submit and
distribute evidence.
(v) Require parties and witnesses to access a hearing
according to instructions provided by the board or a referee,
without the need for the board or referee to initiate contact.
(vi) Provide for identity confirmation for parties and
witnesses, including the sworn affirmation of identity, subject
to 18 Pa.C.S. § 4903 (relating to false swearing), for
individuals participating by videoconference, telephone or other
electronic means.
(vii) Allow notices of hearings to be provided
electronically to parties and communications related to the
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scheduling of and access to hearings to be made by telephone,
email or other electronic means, if the party has agreed to
receive notices and other communications by these means, and
require notices of decisions and other documents that are
required to be sent by mail to also be sent by email or other
electronic means whenever possible.
(viii) Allow a party or witness in an in-person hearing to
participate in the hearing by videoconference, telephone or
other electronic means, unless good cause under paragraph (4)
necessitates that the party or witness appear in-person.
(2) The board shall implement revised rules as follows:
(i) The board shall solicit public comments on the creation
of temporary rules for hearings. The public comment period shall
be at least fifteen days and not more than thirty days. Within
thirty days of the effective date of this paragraph, the board
shall submit notice of the public comment period to the
Legislative Reference Bureau for publication in the Pennsylvania
Bulletin.
(ii) Within six months of the effective date of this
paragraph, the board shall submit notice of temporary rules,
created in accordance with paragraph (1) to the Legislative
Reference Bureau for publication in the Pennsylvania Bulletin.
(iii) Temporary rules shall take effect no later than thirty
days after the publication of notice under subparagraph (ii).
(iv) The board shall propose regulations to revise rules
under paragraph (1) no later than one year after the effective
date of this paragraph.
(v) The board shall promulgate regulations to revise rules
under paragraph (1) no later than three years after the
effective date of this paragraph.
(vi) Temporary rules shall remain in effect until the
effective date of regulations promulgated under subparagraph
(v).
Amend Bill, page 2, line 8, by striking out "(1)" and
inserting
(3)
Amend Bill, page 2, line 8, by inserting after "telephone"
, videoconference or other electronic means
Amend Bill, page 2, line 11, by striking out "(2)" and
inserting
(4)
Amend Bill, page 2, lines 11 through 13, by striking out "in
writing to" in line 11 and all of lines 12 and 13 and inserting
for good cause
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Amend Bill, page 2, line 15, by striking out "(3)" and
inserting
(5)
Amend Bill, page 2, line 17, by striking out the comma after
"hearing" and inserting
or
Amend Bill, page 2, line 17, by striking out "or other
participant"
Amend Bill, page 2, line 20, by inserting after "telephone"
, videoconference or other electronic means
Amend Bill, page 2, line 21, by striking out the comma after
"hearing" and inserting
or
Amend Bill, page 2, line 21, by striking out "or other
participant"
Amend Bill, page 2, line 23, by inserting after "telephone"
, videoconference or other electronic means
Amend Bill, page 2, line 25, by inserting after "telephone"
, videoconference or other electronic means
Amend Bill, page 2, by inserting between lines 26 and 27
(iv) A party to the hearing affirms, subject to 18 Pa.C.S. §
4904 (relating to unsworn falsification to authorities), that
the party is unable to participate in the hearing via telephone,
videoconference or other electronic means.
(6) The department shall, wherever possible, make attempts
to assist the board in facilitating access to hearings held via
telephone, videoconference or other electronic means for parties
and witnesses who request assistance in gaining access to the
technology necessary to participate in a hearing.
(7) The following shall apply:
(i) Any provision of 34 Pa. Code Ch. 101 (relating to
general requirements) that is inconsistent with this subsection,
or with temporary rules or regulations promulgated under
paragraph (2), is abrogated.
(ii) Temporary rules for hearings issued under paragraph (2)
shall not be subject to any of the following:
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(A) Section 612 of the act of April 9, 1929 (P.L.177,
No.175), known as "The Administrative Code of 1929."
(B) Sections 201, 202, 203, 204 and 205 of the act of July
31, 1968 (P.L.769, No.240), referred to as the "Commonwealth
Documents Law."
(C) Sections 204(b) and 301(10) of the act of October 15,
1980 (P.L.950, No.164), known as the "Commonwealth Attorneys
Act."
(D) The act of June 25, 1982 (P.L.633, No.181), known as the
"Regulatory Review Act."
Amend Bill, page 3, by inserting between lines 8 and 9
Section 505.1. Place of Hearing.--[Hearings] In-person
hearings on appeals shall be held within the county in which the
employe regularly reports for work. Such hearings may be held at
the county seat or at such other suitable place or places within
the county as the board shall designate, and when all of the
parties to any appeal and the board agree, such hearings may be
held at any suitable place.
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See A00710 in
the context
of HB0129