Labor Dept. explainer on UI numbers mix-up

TRENTON – Following the confusion in this morning’s committee room over the results of the Unemployment Insurance Task Force report, a department official sent a response.

The bill, S1121, changes the unemployment insurance (UI) tax rate for certain employers.

Bill sponsor, state Sen. Fred Madden, (D-4), Washington Township, said the Department of Labor and Workforce Development’s (LWD) expectations from the bill went from $22 million to $220 million last Friday, although he said he was not sure why the adjustment was made.

According to LWD spokesperson Brian Murray, “The change to the report was due to a typo that was reported to LWD by Sen. Madden’s office and corrected in response to a notice from his office.”

He said the UI task force issued its January 2012 report earlier this month, which was posted to the department website. “Last week, after…Sen. Madden’s office spotted what he described as a ‘typo’ in the report and contacted LWD, the report was removed by LWD and a revised report that corrected the typo was immediately posted by LWD on the website,” Murray said. “One additional change made by LWD involved placing the word ‘revised’ on the cover of the report.”

He said the $220 million figure “was cited in three documents reviewed by the Task Force during several months of deliberations,” and that Madden and an aide attended those meetings.

Madden questioned why the department wasn’t at the committee hearing today, to which Murray replied: “As Sen. Madden mentioned at the hearing, he was in negotiations with the Governor’s office regarding S1211. Those negotiations did not involve LWD.

“LWD is neutral on that bill, which was a Task Force recommendation, not an LWD request,” he said in an email.

State Street Wire initially misreported the confusion over the numbers, but revised our original story based on the Labor Department’s response.

Labor Dept. explainer on UI numbers mix-up