UI Modernization Timeline May Temper Legislative Impulse to Increase Benefits

The House Energy and Technology Committee heard testimony from the Agency of Digital Services and the Department of Labor on the Unemployment Insurance modernization project. Despite the interest of several committees to increase benefits before the outdated mainframe system can accommodate such significant changes, the reality is that other states have taken five or more years to complete their modernization projects, and Vermont is still only in phase one of the project, with the Request for Proposal (RFP) due out later this month. Realistically, the project will take at least four years to complete, if not longer, and the Governor’s budget request included an additional $30 million to complete it. The Vermont Chamber supports this budget request because UI modernization cannot wait and the current system, in constant need of repair, cannot handle additional policy changes.