House L&I Committee Dem. Chairman Mullery urges making critical changes to unemployment system

HARRISBURG, May 25 – Thousands of Pennsylvanians experiencing issues applying for and receiving unemployment benefits will continue to deal with unnecessary delays and roadblocks even after the new unemployment compensation system launches in two weeks, House Labor and Industry Committee Democratic Chairman Gerald Mullery, D-Luzerne, told listeners at a news event following yesterday morning’s committee hearing.

“Right now, there are still many roadblocks that will remain and cause delays for filers, such as the waiting week that makes people ineligible for benefits during their first week of unemployment -- and the process of determining credit weeks, which regularly causes delays in benefits being paid and confusion amongst both employers and claimants,” Mullery said. “Right now, my bill, House Bill 549, would eliminate the waiting week and streamline the income verification process leading to a more effective and efficient system. Despite near universal agreement of these facts, the chances of this bill being brought up for a vote in committee remains remote.  

“It has become quite clear since the start of this legislative session the majority party is more concerned with appeasing the Chamber of Commerce and special interest groups, as opposed to the thousands of hardworking and frustrated Pennsylvanians who have been waiting for their benefits so food can be put on the table and bills can be paid. Democrats and Republicans agree that the unemployment system needs to be fixed. I don’t know a single member, Republican or Democrat, who hasn’t taken phone calls from angry, frustrated and hurt people who just want to know why they haven’t received the unemployment benefits they are entitled to receive.

“Times are certainly challenging, but we are all in this together. We’re past the time to play partisan politics. It’s time to take action to fix the system and H.B. 549 is a giant step in that direction,” Mullery said.

More details on Mullery’s H.B. 549 can be found here.

A replay of Mullery’s remarks can be found at the following link: