House Passes Comprehensive Unemployment Compensation System Reform; Will Save Nearly $1 Billion by 2018

Protecting jobs and workers, the Pennsylvania House of Representatives today unanimously passed Senate Bill 1030, unemployment compensation reform. The bill now heads to the Senate for consideration, House Majority Leader Mike Turzai (R-Allegheny County) said today.  

“This was a jobs bill and will help lower the cost of doing business in this state,” Turzai said. “This was also a fairness bill, making the law more fair for employers, and fair for unemployed workers to help give them the time they need to look for jobs.” 

According to Turzai, the reforms contained in the bill are the most comprehensive unemployment compensation reforms in Pennsylvania since 1988.  

If signed into law, unemployment compensation applicants will now have to look for a job as the bill requires an active job search. According to the U.S. Dept. of Labor, all states – with the exception of Pennsylvania – require claimants to actively seek work, or make a reasonable effort to obtain work. 

Senate Bill 1030 creates a severance pay offset (32 states take into account dismissal pay, nine states prohibit people from receiving UC benefits while receiving severance pay). The amount of severance pay not subject to the offset is $17,853. So, a person can receive severance pay of up to $17,853 before their unemployment benefits are affected. 

The average annual savings to the UC Trust Fund from 2012-2018 will be $133 million with the bulk of the savings in the last 4 years.  The cumulative savings for 2011-2018 will be nearly $1 billion. 

State Representative Mike Turzai
28th District, Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Contact:  Stephen Miskin

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