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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2021 - 2022 Regular Session


Posted: January 19, 2021 01:07 PM
From: Senator Kristin Phillips-Hill
To: All Senate members
Subject: Daily Reporting requirements from L&I during COVID-19
In the near future, I will re-introduce legislation that will require the Department of Labor and Industry to provide publicly accessible daily updates to the people of Pennsylvania on all unemployment compensation claims that have been filed in the Commonwealth.
The unemployment compensation system, housed under the Department of Labor and Industry, has been inundated with claims since the list of “life-sustaining” businesses was released by the governor this past March. Employees of businesses that were forced to cut staff and/or shutter their doors and operations continue to seek help from the department during this incredibly difficult time.
Unfortunately, the department was not prepared for the volume of claims, and the system ultimately crashed and left thousands of Pennsylvanians with no choice but to sit on telephone hold for hours. Moreover, legislative offices continue to be contacted by thousands of constituents requesting our help with the Department because they cannot get timely answers to their questions about their unemployment claims. This is simply unacceptable.
As December 27, 2020, the Department reports having received over 2.5 million initial claims for unemployment.
This legislation will require the Department to inform the public, including the more than 2.5 million unemployment claimants, daily of the number of all unemployment compensation claims a) entered into the system; b) pending in the system; and c) fulfilled. This daily reporting will increase transparency so that every Pennsylvanian can see the number and status of claims received each day and throughout the course of the pandemic.
With each paycheck, Pennsylvania employees pay into this system. Now, that 2.5 million Pennsylvanians are seeking or have sought assistance, it is only fair to ensure transparency in a system they’ve paid into to assist them in case of emergencies like these.
Please join me in supporting this piece of legislation to give transparency to the people of Pennsylvania on the unemployment compensation process.

Introduced as SB753