A measure to extend 13 weeks of federally funded unemployment compensation remains stuck in the state House, and could still be unmoved at the end of the week, when those benefit checks would stop flowing.
In order to prevent 45,000 Pennsylvanians from immediately losing their benefit checks, lawmakers would need to make a technical change to state law, that will keep the commonwealth eligible for the federal UC assistance. But the two measures to make that fix also include various other changes to the state's unemployment compensation systems.
Those measures were somewhat combined during a House committee meeting last week, but opposition remains on several issues. The most prominent of those points of contention are changes that would make those who voluntarily quit their job or commit "willful misconduct" from being eligible for benefits. (Here's more on that in an earlier article.)
House Majority Leader Mike Turzai, R-Bradford Woods, said today that lawmakers are trying "to reach consensus" on the changes to eligibility and other provisions that are holding up the bill. But that consensus could take until next week, he cautioned.
"I'm hopeful that we have it done this week, but it could be until next week," Turzai said.
The benefit checks would be issued retroactively if the measure is not in place by the end of the week, according to the Department of Labor and Industry, but those kicked off the unemployment compensation rolls would have to re-apply.