February 16, 2022 Appropriations Committee, PA 21-200
Public Hearing Testimony of
Danté Bartolomeo, Interim Commissioner
Department of Labor
February 16, 2022
Good afternoon, Senator Osten, Representative Walker, Representative France, Senator Miner and members of the Appropriations Committee. My name is Danté Bartolomeo, and I am the Interim Commissioner of the Department of Labor.
It is my pleasure to be here with you today in support of Governor Ned Lamont’s proposed FY 23 budget adjustments. I am very pleased to see that $30 million in ARPA funds has been recommended for DOL which will sustain our continued response to the extraordinary impact on the unemployment insurance program, arising from COVID-19. This funding will support ongoing costs of administering the unemployment insurance program as it will assist in addressing overpayments and backlogs at both the administrator’s and appeals’ level. The funding will enable the agency to maintain the current staff levels, specifically the temporary and durational hires during the pandemic. This will improve our ability to address issues affecting claimants and employers more quickly; and enhance our delivery of ReEmployCT in July 2022.
As you know, P.A. 21-200, AA Restructuring Unemployment Insurance (UI) Benefits and Improving Fund Solvency makes several changes to the state’s unemployment system, including changes to UI benefits and taxes. All changes in the Public Act become effective in January 2024. Our federally funded positions will need to be supported with state resources. The $659,159 in the Governor’s recommended budget adjustment is critical to implement the required changes under this new law.
June 2021 Spec. Sess. Public Act No. 21-2, AAC Provisions Related to Revenue and Other Items to Implement the State Budget for the Biennium Ending June 30, 2023, requires employers who file quarterly wage reports for UI purposes, to include additional data about each employee. Beginning in 2024, with a phased in approach for smaller employers, employers must report additional data for each employee, including gender identity; age; race; ethnicity; veteran status; disability status; highest education completed; home address and primary work site address; occupational code under the
Bureau of Labor Statistics’ standard occupational classification system; hours and days worked and salary or hourly wage; and employment start date in the current job title and, if applicable, employment end date. I was gratified to see that in the Governor’s proposed budget adjustments, there was funding of $310,327 allocated to DOL needed for staff time and system modifications required for the changes in the reporting requirements inasmuch as our federally funded positions for this project will also need to be supported with state resources.
Thank you for your attention, and I would be happy to answer any questions you might have.
Connecticut Department of Labor • www.ct.gov/dol
An Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer