Gov. Phil Murphy signed legislation Nov. 3 that makes certain changes and improves efficiencies for the state’s unemployment insurance system.
The move comes after the governor conditionally vetoed Senate Bill 2357 in September, citing the need to comply with federal law.
“I commend the bill’s sponsors for their dedication to improving our state’s UI system,” said Murphy in his conditional veto. “The revisions contained in the bill will promote a more expeditious review of unemployment claims and ensure a reliable and transparent process for all involved. In particular, the provisions protecting claimants from overpayment will restore confidence that claimants acting in good faith can rely on the Division’s determination and use their benefits without fear of a reversal.”
The Legislature concurred with Murphy’s conditional veto, which included revisions to the legislation that address concerns raised by the U.S. Department of Labor and ensure that benefits are paid in conformity with federal law.
“These revisions authorize the Division to permit an employer to communicate information with the Division by methods other than electronic communication in those limited circumstances where an employer has demonstrated an inability to communication electronically,” said Murphy in his conditional veto. “My recommended changes also clarify that overpayments paid under the federal CARES Act programs may only be waived if the Division determines that both the overpayment was not the fault of the claimant and repayment would be contrary to equity and good conscience.”
In signing the legislation Thursday, Murphy said that the UI process must be timely and transparent from start to finish.
“We distributed $37 billion to more than 2 million workers during the pandemic, but we never want to see even one resident struggle to pay their bills or find a new job,” said Department of Labor and Workforce Development Commissioner Robert Asaro-Angelo.
“That’s why we are so proud to be partnering with the U.S. Department of Labor to develop a new, modern, agile unemployment system that is accessible, equitable and designed to shorten the time it takes for eligible workers to receive benefits,” Asaro-Angelo continued. “We are grateful for our legislative partners for continuing to advocate for their constituents and our claimants, and for giving us more tools to speed the review process for benefits.”=