Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry (L&I) officials testified before state senators Tuesday, requesting an increase in the department’s budget as well as a hike in the commonwealth’s minimum wage.
Governor Josh Shapiro’s Fiscal Year 2023-24 spending proposal envisions an 11.4-percent rise in L&I’s allocation to $89.8 million. The agency’s acting secretary Nancy Walker also asked lawmakers to consider backing the governor’s goal to raise the Keystone State’s legal wage floor to $15 per hour.
Since the pandemic hit and government relief attempted to ease the pain of economic shutdowns, concerns of taxpayer money being wasted or fraudulently obtained has been a pressing issue.
In Pennsylvania, the state may see a special prosecutor appointed to focus on cases related to unemployment fraud.
Dozens of individuals have reported issues with Pennsylvania’s unemployment system, as repeated mishaps have caused delays in payments.
The technical issues created by the website and the agency’s failure to provide payments have caused individuals to have limited or no income during the holiday season.