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House of Representatives
Session of 2015 - 2016 Regular Session


Posted: June 30, 2015 09:58 AM
From: Representative Gene DiGirolamo
To: All House members
Subject: Changes to Act 60 of 2012 - UC Calculation Reversal and Funding Mechanism

It is my intention to introduce Legislation to correct unforeseen and unintended circumstances created by ACT 60 of 2012.

As you know, tens of thousands of construction workers have suffered as a result of the changes to the Unemployment Compensation eligibility and benefits requirements of ACT 60.
Since its passage there has been several attempts to try and restore some of the prior eligibility standards in an effort to help construction workers that have been singled out of Unemployment Insurance eligibility requirements.

The following changes are necessary to the present Pennsylvania Unemployment Insurance law in order to repair what has been described by many as an unintended consequence imposed on the eligibility of building trades, heavy highway and utility construction workers for Pennsylvania Unemployment Insurance Benefits in ACT 60.
Even though unintended Act 60 has had an ill effect and this legislation would revert back to a more fair and equitable formula for the working men and women of the Commonwealth.

This legislation does three things:
  1. It reduces the requirement of 49.5% of Base Year wages being earned outside of the high quarter to a more reasonable percentage rate. That is a positive step for restoring claimant eligibility determinations for seasonal workers who have relatively low Base Year earnings.
  2. It also restores an additional step in the "step down" procedure which are also very appropriate in restoration of UI benefit eligibility for high hourly wage earners who may have relatively low total Base Year Wages.
  3. Finally, it makes a change in the process by which a claimant who has been disqualified from eligibility for UI benefits may become re-qualified by removing a requirement imposed by Act 60 that re- qualifying earnings must be in covered employment. In the bill the term "covered employment" is removed thereby resorting the language to its predecessor iteration.
This legislation contains a funding mechanism for the cost of the reversal of Act 60 (in part) that deals with the UC Formula which will go into the UI (Unemployment Insurance) Trust Fund so that this money can only be used for UC claims and benefits for workers.

This funding mechanism is solely borne by the workers through a contribution per employee and is to be deposited into the UI Trust Fund.

This bill makes the necessary changes needed to have a positive impact and correct the problems associated with, and now being felt by, the enactment of Act 60 of 2012,
particularly for Construction workers in seasonally impacted occupations.

Please consider co-sponsoring this important piece of legislation

Introduced as HB1477