Pa. approves $15 million to keep its unemployment compensation program running

    Pa. Capitol Building, Harrisburg. (Kevin McCorry/WHYY)

    Pa. Capitol Building, Harrisburg. (Kevin McCorry/WHYY)

    After long months of partisan debate over funding for Pennsylvania’s unemployment compensation program, the legislature has passed a fix — of sorts

    The measure now on its way to Governor Tom Wolf’s desk is considered a stopgap solution.Wolf said he’ll sign it, though he noted the $15 million it’ll allocate to the UC system won’t cut it in the long-term, and that failure to find a more permanent solution will mean throwing the system “back into chaos.”

    “Fifteen million is not going to do it,” he said.

    The bill directs the system to maintain service at “consistent levels” for at least nine months.The Labor and Industry Department, which runs unemployment compensation, said it’s still working out how to use the funds. It doesn’t yet know whether any of the 499 state workers laid off after funding cuts will be brought back.

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    Senate Republicans have indicated they won’t act on a longer-term fix until an audit is completed on the UC system.

    That’s due out later this month.

    The problems started late last year, when the Senate opted not to extend a dedicated UC funding stream the administration had been expecting.

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