ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — State Senate Republicans are held a press conference at West Capitol Park in Albany on Tuesday afternoon. They were calling for a fix to what they call New York’s broken unemployment system.
Senate Republican Leader Rob Ortt was on hand with several members of the Senate Minority Conference, including:
- Sen. George Borrello
- Sen. Peter Oberacker
- Sen. Jim Tedisco
- Sen. Sue Serino
They say that the state’s unemployment system has been a disaster for over a year, and that the legislature needs to act fast to aid struggling New Yorkers.
“In far too many cases, our state government failed those struggling with economic insecurity last year, but nowhere were these failings clearer than in our state’s broken unemployment system. Every single lawmaker on both sides of the aisle has the same story: hundreds if not thousands of callers all begging our offices for some help to collect their life-saving benefits. First, we must examine what went wrong at the Department of Labor so we’re better prepared for the next time. While this is occurring, the state also has an obligation to make long-term investments for our future by providing these neglected New Yorkers with some much-need relief,” Ortt said.
Senate Republicans want:
- A complete forensic audit of the state’s IT
- A formal assessment of fraudulent claims
- Efforts to recoup money from those fraudulent claims
- A tax break of up to $10,200 on unemployment benefits for 2020
- Forgiveness for unemployment overpayments
“Those who faced unemployment because of the pandemic have been struggling to pay their mortgages, put food on the table and provide for their families. Many have no job to return to because their businesses went belly-up. They should not have to pay state taxes on the first $10,200 of their unemployment insurance when the federal government is giving them an income tax exemption on the same benefit,” Tedisco said. “There are currently 38 bi-partisan sponsors on Senate Bill S.5125A to provide jobless citizens with that tax exemption, which is well over the 32 votes needed to pass the bill. This tax break should be brought to the Senate Floor for a vote this week in advance of the May 17 tax filing deadline to provide relief to these beleaguered workers.”