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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session


Posted: January 22, 2019 08:37 AM
From: Senator Jay Costa and Sen. John P. Blake, Sen. Lisa M. Boscola, Sen. James R. Brewster, Sen. Maria Collett, Sen. Andrew E. Dinniman, Sen. Lawrence M. Farnese, Jr., Sen. Wayne D. Fontana, Sen. Art Haywood, Sen. Vincent J. Hughes, Sen. Timothy P. Kearney, Sen. Daylin Leach, Sen. Katie J. Muth, Sen. John P. Sabatina, Jr., Sen. Steven J. Santarsiero, Sen. Judith L. Schwank, Sen. Sharif Street, Sen. Christine M. Tartaglione, Sen. Anthony H. Williams, Sen. Lindsey M. Williams, Sen. John T. Yudichak
To: All Senate members
Subject: No Interest Loans for Working Federal Employees that are Ineligible for UC Benefits
In the near future, we will be introducing legislation that will create a no interest loan fund to provide short term loans to federal employees that are working during the federal shutdown and hence ineligible for unemployment benefits.

There are three groups of employees going unpaid due to the federal government shutdown: Federal employees not working and not being paid; and, contract employees going without work. Both categories of these of workers are eligible for typical UC benefits. However, a third group -- federal employees that are working but not paid -- are ineligible under federal law for UC benefits.

This third category of workers are caught in a must work-without-pay without UC benefits trap. This is unfair and immoral. We should do all we can to make sure that these hardworking people are being provided the means to take care of their families.

Our legislation will create a loan fund within the Department of Labor and Industry to provide these temporary benefits. Should an unpaid, working federal employee choose to receive a loan they will be required to fully reimburse the fund for the loan interest free once they receive back pay.

Initial estimates based on claims from federal employees that are not working and applying for benefits indicate that about $5 million is needed to cover a month of loan benefits for this class of employees. While this amount should be near revenue neutral, L&I would need administrative funding to run the program. These costs are well worth it to help struggling families.

Please join us in co-sponsoring this legislation.