DemocracyRules.org - Electing Issues
Trustee Election
These are the original issues in this subcategory
  • WORKER SAFETY
  • LABOR DISPUTES
  • UNEMPLOYMENT
Winning Issue » UNEMPLOYMENT


In September 2020, thanks to the coronavirus pandemic, our unemployment rate was 7.9% and there were only 123 million full-time employees in the U.S. workforce. This was a significant decrease from a year earlier, when there were 131.7 million full-time employees. However, these figures did not count the number of unemployed people who have stopped looking for work or those who are underemployed. If these people were included, our actual unemployment rate would be nearly double what it is actually reported to be. In 2020, we passed several trillion-dollar stimulus packages which most economists agree helped slow our economic slide. Unemployment insurance is a major element of our government’s response to the economic dislocation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act was passed in March 2020 to, in part, expanded states' ability to provide unemployment insurance for workers impacted by the pandemic. However, over the years, some states including Florida, North Carolina, Alabama and Kentucky have either erected administrative hurdles that dramatically reduced both recipiency and access to unemployment insurance, or were unprepared for the massive demand for these benefits. As states began locking down populations and closing businesses in response to the pandemic, out-of-work Americans made beelines to their labor departments, many of which have struggled to process a surge in unemployment claims that overwhelmed state systems. This created backlogs that left many applicants waiting three months or more to receive benefits. Advocates say we need to upgrade state unemployment insurance systems to be able to process a surge in benefit claims in a timely manner.

Pending Legislation: S.490 - Unemployment Insurance Technology Modernization Act of 2021
Sponsor: Sen. Ron Wyden (OR)
Status: Senate Committee on Finance
Chair: Sen. Ron Wyden (OR)



Options


  • I oppose reforming current unemployment policy and wish to donate resources to the campaign committee of Leader Charles Schumer (NY).
  • I support requiring the Labor Department to develop, operate, and maintain a modular set of technology capabilities to modernize unemployment compensation technology by:

    1.) Allowing the federal government to ensure a smooth administration of unemployment programs while still allowing states to adapt the technology to meet their unique programmatic needs.

    2.) Establishing a Department of Labor Digital Services Team to assist states in implementation, support federal technology needs, and help states ensure timely and accurate delivery of payments, make the program more accessible, and better identify fraudulent claims.

    3.) Requiring the use of best practices in cybersecurity, procurement, and transparency, including online claim filing systems to ensure that technology does not impede the ability of workers to access benefits.

    4.) Ensuring that automated decision systems or algorithms used as part of the technology do not result in systemic bias.

    And wish to donate resources to the campaign committee of Sen. Ron Wyden (OR) and/or to an advocate group currently working with this issue.


Winning Option
  • I support requiring the Labor Department to develop, operate, and maintain a modular set of technology capabilities to modernize unemployment compensation technology by:

    1.) Allowing the federal government to ensure a smooth administration of unemployment programs while still allowing states to adapt the technology to meet their unique programmatic needs.

    2.) Establishing a Department of Labor Digital Services Team to assist states in implementation, support federal technology needs, and help states ensure timely and accurate delivery of payments, make the program more accessible, and better identify fraudulent claims.

    3.) Requiring the use of best practices in cybersecurity, procurement, and transparency, including online claim filing systems to ensure that technology does not impede the ability of workers to access benefits.

    4.) Ensuring that automated decision systems or algorithms used as part of the technology do not result in systemic bias.

    And wish to donate resources to the campaign committee of Sen. Ron Wyden (OR) and/or to an advocate group currently working with this issue.
There has been $0.00 pledged in support of this issue
Trustee Candidates

If elected as a trustee, the campaign committee of Sen. Ron Wyden (OR) will be unconditionally awarded the funds pledged to this issue along with a letter requesting him to favorably consider passing S.490 - Unemployment Insurance Technology Modernization Act of 2021.

If elected as a trustee, National Employment Law Project will be awarded the funds pledged to this issue along with a letter requesting these funds be used to advocate for providing prompt benefits and services to the unemployed.

About: For 50 years, NELP has sought to ensure that America upholds, for all workers, the promise of opportunity and economic security through work. NELP fights for policies to create good jobs, expand access to work, and strengthen protections and support for low-wage workers and unemployed workers. We publish research that illuminates workers’ issues; promote policies that improve workers’ lives; lend deep legal and policy expertise to important cases and campaigns; and partner with allies to advance crucial reforms. NELP works from the ground up to build systemic change. We collaborate with community partners on advocacy campaigns, developing and testing innovative policy ideas in cities and states, then scaling them up to effect change nationally. We partner with advocacy networks grounded in the full range of stakeholders—grassroots groups and national organizations, worker centers and unions, policymakers and think tanks.
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Trustee Election - Opening Date
November 22, 2021
Trustee Election - Closing Date
November 29, 2021