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Dem Govs Get It Done: Democratic Governors Urge Congress to Fund Improvements to Unemployment Systems

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This week, Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf, and Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers urged Congressional leadership to fast track funding for IT modernization. Increased federal funding would assist states in responding to the COVID-19 crisis and help them be prepared for future economic downturns. 

The governors’ request to Congress includes creating a state-led commission to prevent fraud and inefficiency, and additional investment in the interstate unemployment system, which has been overwhelmed by the pandemic.

The technology used by many states to administer the nation’s unemployment systems is old and outdated. Previous efforts to modernize these legacy systems have often failed due to failed Republican policies. 

In Kansas, Gov. Kelly recently approved a $1.4 million upgrade to the state’s unemployment system. The upgrade has helped fend off nearly five million fraudulent/bot claims and allowed staff to focus on legitimate claims. Despite Gov. Kelly’s leadership on the issue, Republicans in the Kansas legislature are falling back on their same old tricks and trying to undermine her.

Democratic governors are leading the charge to modernize state systems and protect taxpayer dollars. Federal funding will help ensure that state aid is going to those who need it and strengthen the nation’s workforce in the years to come. 

Read the Democratic governors’ effort to improve unemployment offices below.

KSNT: Gov. Kelly urges Congress to fund I.T. modernization projects for unemployment offices across the U.S.

Governor Laura Kelly announced Monday that she authored and delivered a letter to Congressional leaders urging the federal government to take action in addressing an issue that’s burdened the state’s labor department since the start of the pandemic.

Gov. Kelly joined state leaders in Wisconsin and Pennsylvania in asking Congress to provide immediate funding for states to fast-track IT modernization and provide a permanent source of funding to ensure states are prepared for future crises.

“We’re asking the feds to provide more so we can go forward with the modernization, but then you don’t build these things and let them go. You’ve got to maintain and upgrade on a regular basis,” Gov. Kelly said during a press conference.