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12/12/2019 05:15 PM
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
https://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/Legis/CSM/showMemoPublic.cfm?chamber=H&SPick=20190&cosponId=27744
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House of Representatives
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session

MEMORANDUM

Posted: January 15, 2019 10:35 AM
From: Representative Seth M. Grove
To: All House members
Subject: Reforming the Unemployment Compensation Board of Review (Former House Bill 1972)
 
In the near future, I will be reintroducing House Bill 1972 which would adopt specific standards for the qualifications of members who serve on the Unemployment Compensation Board of Review. This Board serves as the appeals body for those parties who dispute the decisions of unemployment compensation referees.

Currently, the Unemployment Compensation Law requires that the Board be composed of three members who are appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the Senate. Board members serve terms of 6 years, and members are compensated at a part-time salary range of $58,375 to $59,924. The law specifies no other basic qualifications.

In my opinion, the role that this Board serves is vital to the unemployment compensation system because it considers numerous appeals every year, and it needs to be as professional and impartial as possible. My legislation requires the following qualifications for future Board members:
*Members must serve full-time.
*Members must be attorneys at law.
*Members must have five years’ experience as an unemployment compensation referee or other administrative hearing officer, or 5 years’ experience practicing law before administrative agencies.
*Member cannot hold offices/positions/employment that are incompatible with their
service on the Board.

To provide a compensation scale for full-time, professional board members, my bill will tie the compensation of new board members (who meet the qualifications in the legislation) to the salaries of the Workers’ Compensation Appeal Board (a board which serves a similar function for workers’ comp cases). The WCAB members are currently compensated at a salary range of $98,054 to $104,881.

Given that the current nature of the board centers on political appointees (who must possess no basic qualifications), I believe my legislation will ensure this board is competent, and as unbiased as possible.
Please contact Jordan Grant at Jgrant@pahousegop.com in my office if you wish to cosponsor.

FORMER SPONSORS INCLUDE: KAUFFMAN, WATSON, COX, B. MILLER, JOZWIAK, WHEELAND, PHILLIPS-HILL AND KEEFER

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Introduced as HB477