House Passes Unemployment Compensation Reform to Bring Solvency to the System by 2019 and Beyond

HARRISBURG – Protecting jobs and workers, the Pennsylvania House of Representatives today passed, by a bipartisan vote of 129-67, legislation to reform the state’s unemployment compensation system, House Majority Leader Mike Turzai (R-Allegheny County) said.


Senate Bill 1310, which provides long-term solvency to the state’s Unemployment Compensation Trust Fund, now heads to the governor for his signature.


“This is a bill to promote private sector job creation,” Turzai said. “This legislation will eliminate our $4 billion debt to the federal government and provide important reforms to keep the unemployment compensation fund solvent for the future to ensure dollars are available for workers in need.”


According to Turzai, Pennsylvania employers are paying the federal debt through an interest surcharge; under this legislation, the Commonwealth would borrow $4.5 billion to ultimately pay down the debt with employer contributions paying for the newly borrowed money – saving employers approximately $175 million to $200 million because the interest on the bonds would be less expensive than the interest on the federal debt. The new debt, under this legislation, should be paid off in 2019.


Turzai said that no unemployment benefits for current recipients will be reduced. Beginning next year, the measure would freeze the maximum weekly benefit of $573 through 2019. Workers who made 50.5 percent of their annual income or more in one quarter would no longer be eligible for benefits, a change from the current 63 percent limit; this change would affect less than 10 percent of those unemployed and save the system an annual savings of $276 million.


State Representative Mike Turzai

28th District, Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Media Contact: Stephen Miskin


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