December 5, 2016

Sen. Baker Pushes Audit, Sen. Wagner Files Right-To-Know Request On Unemployment Compensation Call Center Closures

In a letter to Auditor General Eugene DePasquale Monday, Sen. Lisa Baker (R-Luzerne) has requested financial and performance audits of the Service and Infrastructure Improvement Fund and the unemployment compensation system to assess how more than $178.4 million has been spent over the past four years and whether continued funding is justified.
Originally created as a temporary resource to assist in replacing aging infrastructure, funding is set to expire at the end of the year.
Senate Republicans have been asked since the beginning of 2016 by the Department of Labor and Industry to approve another $57 million transfer of state funds.  
They say the Wolf administration has so far been unable or unwilling to provide the type of detailed accounting taxpayers deserve and Sen. Baker is urging DePasquale to take swift action to help provide the necessary answers.
Sen. Wagner
Sen. Scott Wagner (R-York) held a press conference Monday to announce he has filed a Right-To-Know request with the Department of Labor & Industry requesting various records related to the closing of Unemployment Compensation call centers.
During the press conference, Sen. Wagner shared that he had visited the Lancaster Unemployment Call Center on December 2nd. Combined with previous concerns with the lack of progress in upgrading the Unemployment Compensation system, the insight he gained during his visit has prompted him to file the Right-To-Know request.
“What I learned is shocking,” said Sen. Wagner. “Many of the employees agree with my colleagues and I that these closings are purely political. I was told that employees had been hearing for months that the Lancaster call center may be closing in June of 2017 anyway.”
Sen. Wagner also learned that all three call centers being closed by the Governor – Altoona, Allentown, and Lancaster had already stopped taking calls two weeks prior.
Sen. Wagner added that since coming to the Senate, he has taken his job as a steward of taxpayer’s dollars seriously.
“I believe that it is imperative that we begin collecting information today for what I believe will be a full vetting of this issue as soon as the Senate reconvenes,” said Sen. Wagner.
Click Here to see the Right-To-Know request.
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