NASWA Members Brief House Committee on Ways and Means Members on UI Administration Funding and Reemployment Reform Proposals

On Thursday, January 9th, over 60 members from NASWA’s Administration and Finance, and Unemployment Insurance (UI) Committees representing 33 states and the District of Columbia traveled to Capitol Hill to meet with members of the House Majority on the House Committee on Ways and Means, Subcommittee on Human Resources.  

NASWA President Mark Henry (MS), Past-President Larry Temple (TX), Unemployment Insurance Committee Chair Bruce Madson (OH), Administration and Finance Committee Chair Dennis Murphy (CT) and NASWA Executive Director Rich Hobbie opened the meeting outlining the challenges facing state UI programs and how NASWA’s UI Administration Funding and Reemployment Reform Proposals could enhance efficiencies in the UI program and assist unemployed workers return to work sooner.

NASWA Executive Director Rich Hobbie spoke to members of the House Committee on Ways and Means on NASWA’s UI Administrative Funding and Reemployment Reform proposals, with state members sharing individual state perspectives on how the system could be improved.  For the complete presentation, click here.

NASWA’s UI Administrative Funding Proposal would reform federal funding of state grants for administration of UI to guarantee states a total amount of at least 60 percent of revenue collected in the prior calendar year under the Federal Unemployment Tax Act (FUTA), which would cost about $300 million a year.  The additional UI administrative funds called for under the proposal could help reduce improper payments and accelerate reemployment through reemployment and eligibility assessments, investments in modern information technology, and data cross matches to reduce fraud.   

NASWA’s Reemployment Reform Proposal would authorize mandatory spending of $700 million of FUTA revenue on reemployment services to be provided from the beginning of a UI Claim for individuals seeking benefits.   Providing reemployment eligibility assessments and reemployment services in the first week of a UI claim could have a savings to cost ratio of as much as 4 to 1 by helping claimants return to work several weeks earlier, thereby reducing benefit payments and possibly employer taxes.

After the initial question and answer session between members on the House Committee on Ways and Means and NASWA’s leadership, members of NASWA’s Administration and Finance and UI Committees were able to ask questions and discuss with House Ways and Means Committee staff the challenges facing the system related to IT modernization, fraud prevention and more effective delivery of services.