Department of Labor logo


March 3, 2022 Labor and Public Employees Committee, SB 210

Public Hearing Testimony of
Daryle Dudzinski, Deputy Commissioner
Department of Labor
Labor and Public Employees Committee
March 3, 2022


Good Morning Senator Kushner, Representative Porter, Senator Sampson, Representative Arora and members of the Labor and Public Employees Committee. Thank you for the opportunity to provide you with testimony regarding Senate Bill 210, AN ACT CONCERNING TECHNICAL AND OTHER CHANGES TO THE LABOR DEPARTMENT STATUTES. My name is Daryle Dudzinski and I am the Deputy Commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Labor.


The Connecticut Department of Labor (DOL) supports the proposed bill, which includes several technical revisions sought by this agency. This technical bill sets forth several amendments to Public Act 21-200, An Act Restructuring Unemployment Insurance Benefits and Improving Fund Solvency, that are required in order to bring the Act into conformity with federal law.  Rather than limiting the number of years in the definition of “experience period,” which was deemed to be out of conformity with federal law, the bill proposes to use factors that will reduce each employer’s charged rate for calendar years 2026 and 2027 in a manner similar to the language contained in PA 21-200 for calendar years 2024 and 2025.  Making this technical change will ensure that the state’s unemployment insurance program is in conformity and in compliance with federal law. Failure to be in conformity and in compliance with federal law subjects Connecticut employers to the potential loss of federal tax credits and DOL to the potential loss of federal administrative funding. In addition, using factors to reduce each employer’s charged rate for calendar years 2026 and 2027 will have a positive impact on employer tax rates for those years.  There is also a scrivener’s error in line 250, which should be the be fixed to number 1.123 with 1.125.  Other technical changes were made to ensure that subsections in PA 21-200 tracked other subsections with similar language.  Moreover, there is one date that is not in keeping with the intent of the law.  Changes were to start on January 1, 2024, and not before, although this is unclear in one section so it has been amended to align with that intent.


In addition, the language in PA 21-200 that provides that a claimant’s benefit rate cannot be lower than the prior year must be amended. This change is needed because it could lead to an interpretation that a claimant’s weekly benefit rate could never be reduced.  However, such an interpretation contravenes state and federal UI law.  If a claimant qualifies for a new benefit but has lower wages in the base period, the weekly benefit rate must be reduced from the previous year.  A claimant’s benefit rate has to be tied to his or her base period wages.  The language from PA 21-200 was only meant to address the nonreduction of the weekly benefit rate that is tied to the indexing requirement.     


Connecticut Department of Labor
An Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer