Reps. Harkins and Bizzarro push for funding to reopen unemployment offices
State Reps. Ryan Bizzarro and Pat Harkins, both D-Erie, have co-sponsored legislation (H.B. 34), that would restore the full $57.5 million to reopen unemployment call centers and bring back all furloughed jobs.
“People need their unemployment benefits to pay the mortgage, buy food and just to survive,” Bizzarro said. “Every day I am hearing from frustrated constituents who are spending upwards of six weeks, calling hundreds of times trying to get through to the call centers. The call center situation needs to be fixed fast because these people need their money.”
"This has been a devastating problem for the entire state, affecting people in Erie and everywhere,” Harkins said. “Our unemployed, who need the financial assistance to get by, are struggling to get their claims processed in a timely manner. We need to fix this immediately.”
Bizzarro said House Labor and Industry and Appropriations committee hearings are scheduled.
“How long can the state continue to operate under these circumstances by literally stringing along claimants?” Bizzarro said.
Bizzarro said the legislation has bipartisan support in the House.