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Mackenzie Supports Solution to Pennsylvania’s Unemployment Compensation Debt Crisis

HARRISBURG – Rep. Ryan Mackenzie (R-Berks/Lehigh) today voted in favor of legislation that will eliminate Pennsylvania’s federal unemployment compensation debt and allow businesses to create and retain jobs.


“Pennsylvania owes $3.8 billion to the federal government for unemployment compensation borrowing that took place during the height of the recession,” said Mackenzie.  “Currently, Pennsylvania employers are paying two additional taxes to compensate for this debt.  This additional expense hinders employers’ ability to bring on new employees and maintain the current workforce.  Businesses are closing their doors because they cannot afford to operate.  This legislation will eliminate the debt and allow businesses to invest in growth and additional hiring.”


Senate Bill 1310 would refinance the outstanding debt with a bond issuance.  The bonds would not be general obligation bonds, but would be revenue bonds with a designated funding source solely paid for by employers. 


Senate Bill 1310 is expected to save the fund and taxpayers $326 million per year and return the fund to solvency by 2019.  The legislation was approved with bi-partisan support.


Mackenzie, who helped develop this proposal during his tenure as policy director at the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry, noted that this compromise was a year in the making and included input from stakeholders in the business and labor communities.


“This unemployment compensation debt crisis is costing us all,” said Mackenzie.  “Employers and employees are paying additional taxes as a result of the fund’s insolvency, so this legislation is a very important step toward comprehensive unemployment compensation reform.  The Commonwealth needs to get out from under this debt so we can focus on getting Pennsylvanians back to work.”


Senate Bill 1310 will now go before the governor for his signature. 


More information about Mackenzie is available at and


State Representative Ryan Mackenzie

134th District, Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Media Contact: Nicole Wamsley


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