New York’s Economy, Through Another Lens

June 27, 2000. A letter to the editor of the New York Times, by James Parrott:

Re ”Jobs Data for 1999 Paint a Rosier Picture for Upstate New York” (news article, March 2):

It may be a little premature for Gov. George E. Pataki to herald the turnaround of the upstate economy. At least 40 percent of the private job gain last year occurred in industries like retail and social services, where the average wages are 40 percent below the average for all workers in New York State (leaving aside Wall Street jobs where the pay is off the charts).

With many of these new jobs paying about $25,000 a year, the state has a long way to go before it can make up for the 400,000 middle-income jobs that it has lost over the last decade.

It is also puzzling that Mr. Pataki links job growth to his tax cuts, since more than one in five of all jobs added last year occurred in sectors (health and social services and education) heavily affected by government spending.

New York’s Minimum Wage Opportunity

June 24, 2000. The New York State Senate recessed on  June 23rd without acting on the proposal to increase the minimum wage to $6.75 per hour on January 1, 2001.  This legislation is sponsored by 16 of the 36 members of the  Senate’s Republican Majority Conference.  Whether the Senate reconvenes before or after Election Day, this is an issue that it will not be able to ignore.  Tom Michl and Trudi Renwick review the erosion of the purchasing power of the minimum wage over the last 30 years and how New York’s neighboring states have been moving to address this situation:

Last year, the New York Legislature took a step in the right direction when it permanently tied the state’s minimum wage to the federal level. When the Assembly passed a minimum wage bill earlier this month introduced by Assemblywoman Catherine Nolan (D-Queens), it got the ball rolling to increase the New York minimum wage to $6.75 an hour in January 2000. Now the ball is in the Senate’s court, where a companion bill introduced by Senator Nick Spano (R-Yonkers) awaits action. It would be a misfortune for the state’s low-wage workers if the Senate were to miss this historic opportunity.

The minimum wage contributes to good public policy in the effort to reduce poverty by making work pay. In New York, increasing the minimum wage to $6.75 will significantly raise income for well over 1 million workers. Most of the beneficiaries are adults, most are female, and the vast majority are members of low-income working families.

By increasing its minimum wage, New York would join a growing list of states where voters have chosen to take control over wage policy rather than wait for Congress to act at the federal level. Current proposals in Washington to raise the federal minimum wage to $6.15 an hour over the next two or three years face an uncertain future.

There are now ten states plus the District of Columbia with minimum wage levels above the current $5.15 Federal level. These include four neighbors: Vermont ($5.75), Massachusetts ($6.75 as of 2001), Connecticut ($6.70 as of 2002), and Rhode Island ($5.65). The highest minimum wage in effect now ($6.50) is found in Oregon and Washington, both the result of voter initiatives. The state of Washington has taken the further step of indexing its minimum wage to the consumer price index.

The Nolan-Spano bill includes a similar provision which would index future wage increases to New York’s average weekly wage. The importance of this provision is illustrated by the loss of purchasing power the minimum wage has suffered over recent decades. In 1968 the minimum wage was equivalent to nearly $8.00 an hour expressed in current dollars, compared to $5.15 an hour now. Thus, this bill effectively restores lost purchasing power to the lowest paid workers and guarantees that they will share with the rest of us in the benefits of future economic growth.

It is not hard to see why voters and political leaders in high-wage states would want to take control over their own economic destinies in this way. High-wage states have higher productivity, and can afford higher statutory floors. Why should New York and Mississippi have the same minimum wage? New York state also has a higher cost of living than states in the South and Midwest. These arguments have become increasingly salient because the Congress has allowed the purchasing power of the federal minimum wage to drop over the last three decades.

Opponents of the minimum wage complain that it would harm business and job growth in New York state. Obviously, that is a serious concern. But the best evidence shows that past increases in minimum wages, at the federal or state level, mainly did what they were supposed to do, raising income for working families at the bottom while causing very little, if any, employment loss.

The economics profession began to rethink its assessment after studies by David Card and Alan Krueger, well-respected economists at Berkeley and Princeton, found that the 1992 New Jersey minimum wage had no effect on the number of jobs in fast-food restaurants there. They compared New Jersey and Pennsylvania, and found that jobs actually increased in the New Jersey restaurants, although the effect was not statistically significant.

Some opponents of the New York state minimum wage argue that it would put New York businesses at a competitive disadvantage. But in manufacturing, where competition from other states is an issue, few workers would be affected. Most minimum wage workers are in the retail trade, restaurant, or other service industries. There might conceivably be some “business stealing” effect in markets close to the border in these sectors, but as we have seen, many of our neighbors pay above the federal minimum. When Massachusetts increased its minimum wage to $6.00 an hour on January 1, 2000 we did not see a massive flow of jobs across the border to New York. In fact, neither Massachusetts nor Connecticut lost any ground in their relative shares of regional employment since their state minimum wage increases took effect.

In its 1999 Economic Report of the President, the Council of Economic Advisors remarked that “the weight of the evidence suggests that modest increases in the minimum wage have had very little or no effect on employment.” It is always hard in such a contentious field as economics to made sweeping generalizations. Certainly a minority of economists remain skeptical of the Card and Krueger findings, even though they have been corroborated by numerous studies. A good rule of thumb is that when economists disagree about the direction and size of an effect, its true magnitude is probably small.

If Governor Pataki or the Senate are still concerned about potential job losses, they might consider instructing the New York State Department of Labor to begin now designing a survey which could generate a data base suitable for assessing the impact of the $6.75 minimum wage, perhaps in consultation with academic economists and labor departments in other states. If this turns out to be an excessive level which imposes substantial, measurable hardship on workers then the legislature can take the opportunity to make adjustments to the indexing formula in the future.

In the meantime, economic research and a promising bipartisan coalition favor raising the New York minimum wage.

Thomas R. Michl is a Professor of Economics at Colgate University who will be teaching as a visiting professor at Union College during the coming academic year. Trudi Renwick is an economist with the Fiscal Policy Institute.

State lawmakers should boost minimum wage

June 22, 2000. A letter to the editor by Trudi Renwick and Tom Michl. Published in the Albany Times Union.

On Monday the Times Union reported the effort to increase the state minimum wage to $6.75 per hour “apparently died in the Senate.” The Senate has returned to Albany this week and should make sure this opportunity to give low-income working New Yorkers a much-needed raise doesn’t really die. In fact, the purchasing power (in current dollars) of the minimum wage has fallen from approximately $8 an hour in 1968 to the current $5.15.

Increasing the minimum wage would benefit more than a million New York workers. And these aren’t just teenagers. Three-fourths of the beneficiaries would be adults, and many of those are their families’ main breadwinners.

By increasing its minimum wage above the federal $5.15, New York would join nine other states that already have done so, including New York’s neighbors: Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island.

Higher-productivity states can afford higher statutory floors. And, workers in states with a higher cost of living need higher minimum wages.

Opponents complain that increasing the minimum wage would slow job growth and put New York at a competitive disadvantage. But the best evidence shows that past minimum-wage increases, at both the federal and state levels, caused very little, if any, employment loss. In fact, since January 2000, when Massachusetts increased its minimum wage from $5.25 to $6, its share of the region’s jobs has actually gone up.

Our Bay State neighbors are obviously onto something — and have already enacted a further increase to $6.75 to take effect on Jan. 1, 2001. New York should follow suit.

Trudi Renwick
Fiscal Policy Institute, Latham

Thomas R. Michl,
Professor of Economics, Colgate University.

Hold Adelphia responsible if promises don’t pan out

June 15, 2000.  A call for accountability from Buffalo News columnist Rod Watson.

OK, let’s make a deal. You give me mucho, mucho bucks  and I’ll give you . . . what? A promise? Sound good? Do you know of any business that does business like  that?

No, only government does business like that. So welcome to the  Adelphia Communications waterfront project.

New York State already has tossed $75 million of public money  into the pot, $50 million of it new dollars, to help get the new  communications center erected on the waterfront. And that’s not all. Erie County  and the city are being asked to kick in additional government support to  woo this private venture to the People’s Republic of Buffalo.

In fact, the company’s refrain brings to mind the Edward G.  Robinson character in one of his old gangster movies. When asked what he  wanted, he thought for a minute and came up with a one-word summation: more.  That’s the Adelphia mantra as negotiations proceed.

And what does the public get in return? Supposedly, 1,000 new, good-paying jobs downtown.

All right, if that’s the tradeoff, it’s a decent deal for a  job-starved town. There’s only one catch: Who’s going to make sure that  happens? And what if the jobs don’t materialize?

It’s a question public-interest and labor groups have been  asking more and more in recent years as they examine deals made by the  alphabet soup development agencies with weird acronyms. The agencies hand out  public money to entrepreneurs whose main skill seems to be giving the  public the business.

It’s why some skeptics are pushing so-called “clawback”  legislation that writes into such deals specific job targets, pay scales and,  most important, penalties. Companies that don’t keep their promises  would have to give back the money – just like other welfare recipients.

“Some of the industrial development agencies in New York State  are starting to do it,” said Mark Dunlea of the Hunger Action Network,  part of a coalition called the Fair Budget Campaign that’s trying to  reform such practices.

Assemblyman Mike Bragman, the recently deposed majority leader,  has been pushing legislation for years to make all of the development  agencies have a plan for recouping aid if the companies don’t live up to  their rosy promises. His Financial Incentives Accountability Act has passed  the Assembly the past several years, only to die in the Senate.

So where does that leave Empire State Development Corp., the  lead state agency on the Adelphia project? It insists it can and will make  Adelphia create all of the promised jobs.

“It’s something the Pataki administration has taken a very hard  line on, given the history of this type of thing,” said agency  spokeswoman Maura Gallucci.

That “history” raises lots of questions. Some who watch this  sort of thing say that the state agency is more conscientious in writing  such agreements and following up than local development corporations.  And Gallucci says companies getting ESD aid have exceeded their job  targets by 8 percent in the latest report.

Still, not all firms keep their promises.

“If they are not in compliance, they must reimburse the  funding,” she said.

There’s only one problem. No one – not Empire State nor the Washington-based Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy’s Good  Jobs First program, which studies subsidized job projects – could  immediately come up with examples of projects in which governments have  actually made companies like Adelphia give back the money.

Perhaps that’s not surprising. A government that decides a  company needs help in the first place will be loath to bring down the  financial hammer and drive the firm further into the red when it fails to  grow jobs as promised.

But if any firm could withstand that kind of pressure and  should be held accountable, it would be the nation’s sixth-largest cable  company.

Asked whether Adelphia will agree to clawback language,  Executive Vice President Timothy Rigas said, “It’s hard to answer that without  having the whole deal completed.” The state should insist on it and taxpayers  should insist on a very public scorecard. Even with the good-faith show  of 60 new jobs the company recently brought here, this deal needs some  enforceable guarantees to make sure the public gets its money’s worth.

As things stand now, it reminds me of the taxpayer dollars  shelled out for the downtown baseball stadium while the Rich family verbally  dangled the prospect of Major League Baseball before a gullible community.

The stadium was built, fans flocked in, dollars flowed into  Buffalo Bison coffers (while the city lost money) and suddenly all of that  talk about bringing in a major league team was just that – talk.

It brings to mind the old joke: A verbal agreement isn’t worth  the paper it’s written on.

The question this time around is simple: Will the written  agreement between the taxpayers and Adelphia be any better?

Briefing on How Federal Spending Priorities Affect New York State

June 2, 2000. Remarks by Ed Bloch, Director, The Interfaith Alliance of New York State at The Impact of Federal Spending Priorities on New York State, an educational briefing:

As the technological capability to achieve weapons of mass destruction (and, in fact, incineration of the planet) continue to evolve, we are confronted with a fundamental ethical question. Where does true security lie and where shall we spend our treasure to achieve it???

Compelling evidence demonstrates that technology cannot provide dependable security. We will find security only when people outside our borders and within them can achieve the scriptural demands of all faiths and live in peace, relative equality and mutual respect — and not before.

The true time bomb grows out of the polarization of wealth, income and services provided. And, as FPI conclusively demonstrated earlier this year, New York State is the pre-eminent example of such polarization. So that mountains of wealth heaped on the Pentagon and its providers comes at the expense of care for those least well off, making our increasingly violent community more fragile than ever.

I recently had occasion to hear former Air Force Col. Robert Bowman, in charge of the “Star Wars” program under Presidents Carter and Ford and he reached that conclusion. “In its earliest years,” said Bowman. “Star Wars was intended to be defensive. With Reagan’s advent, it became clear that, if it ever became operational, it would be solely aggressive and many of the Joint Chiefs were appalled at the escalation. If ‘rogue states’ ever want to do a job on us, the method of delivery will be a panel truck of the type that did a job on Oklahoma City.”

So there’s the tradeoff. In April Congress passed the Fiscal Year 2001 Budget Resolution, setting federal spending at $1.87 trillion with $310.8 billion for the military, $18.2 billion more than FY’00. And, of course, this without the major enemy that justified Cold War escalation.

We all know that money thrown at the Pentagon and its burgeoning munitions industries will not go toward relief for most of us and others here today, far more qualified than I, will spell that out in glorious technicolor.

We in the interfaith community see ours as a somewhat different mission. Most of us, including many of a fundamentalist conviction, see a nation focused on individualism rather than community (read “hurray for me; the heck with you”); a nation “possessed” (in the demonic sense) with its possessions and entranced with “anything goes” thrills.

Clearly this caricature, the antithesis of community, helps to a large degree to explain the mindless violence which is sweeping our country and will not be stopped by forcible crackdowns. It’s the familiar “guns or butter” shakedown except that now the guns are turned against us, whether in our hands or in the hands of other nationals who are customers of the international corporate power structure.

Our treasure is going more and more to the forces that do not make us more secure but simply raise the ante in the Mutually Assured Destruction category (MAD, for short). And because that is so, there is relatively less for the community building that has to be our hope. There is no substitute for what’s right. The word is beginning to leak out that the right is also the most practical.

The Impact of Federal Spending Priorities on New York State: An Educational Briefing

June 2, 2000. New York State receives $3.9 billion less per year from the federal government in key budget areas than it did in 1980. Meanwhile, while military spending grew by $10.7 billion. Representatives of Statewide Youth Advocacy, the Interfaith Alliance of New York State and the Fiscal Policy Institute joined Greg Speeter and Pam Schwartz of the National Priorities Project in presenting an educational briefing today on how federal spending priorities impact New Yorkers. Press release:

A new report, “New York 2000: Critical Needs, Federal Priorities,” by the National Priorities Project finds that, over the past 18 years, after adjusting for inflation, federal spending in New York in five key areas (economic security, education, the environment, health care and housing) has declined by $3.9 billion per year. The report also analyzes a set of objective indicators to document that New York’s needs in these areas are substantial and growing. Over the same 18-year period, however, annual spending for the military has grown by $10.7 billion per year, even after adjusting for inflation.

The National Priorities Project (NPP) is a privately funded research and education organization, based in Northampton, Massachusetts, that provides citizen and community groups throughout the country with the tools and resources that they need to help shape federal budget and policy priorities. NPP was joined by four New York organizations (the Fiscal Policy Institute, Statewide Youth Advocacy, The Interfaith Alliance of New York and the Community Service Society of New York) in releasing its report on the relationship between federal spending priorities and New Yorkers’ standard of living and their quality of life.

The report and a questionnaire that New York voters can use to determine their House and Senate candidates’ stands on key spending priority issues are being released in conjunction with the official start of the Congressional campaign season on Tuesday, June 6. This is the first day on which candidates who are seeking party nominations for seats in the U.S. House of Representatives from any of New York State’s 31 Congressional Districts can begin collecting the signatures necessary to get on the ballot. This process runs for a little more than a month with the candidates required to file their petitions with the appropriate Board of Elections between July 10 and July 13. The reportdetailed data sources and the candidate questionnaire are available in PDF format.

In New York, according to the report’s analysis of a series of objective economic and social indicators, the level of need exceeds the federal government’s commitment to meeting those needs. While federal funding in the areas examined by the report was shrinking, the number of New York children living in poverty increased by more than 300,000 — from 877,000 in 1980 to 1.2 million in 1998. While the Head Start program only receives enough money to serve one-third the eligible children in New York, spending for the military has increased to $296 billion per year.

Other indicators of New York’s level of need contained in the report include:

  • 90% of schools are in need of significant repair;
  • 3.2 million had no health insurance in 1998, up from 2 million in 1987;
  • 52% of renters were unable to pay the fair market rent in 1999;
  • 50% of jobs with the most growth pay poverty wages;
  • 44,715 New York residents drink polluted water.

While the federal commitment to address these needs has declined since 1980, this period saw no such funding shortfall for the Pentagon. In fact, over this 18 year period the Pentagon received a cumulative $1.3 trillion dollar increase. Today the U.S. military budget is 2.5 times that of Russia, China, and all other potential military threats combined.

The report warns that federal spending in New York for these key non-military areas may be reduced even further to accommodate increased Pentagon spending. Last year the Pentagon requested a $112 billion, 6-year increase in its budget and the FY 2000 budget included a request for an additional $12.6 billion as its first installment. When Congress passed its FY 2000 budget resolution in April, it agreed to give the Pentagon even more – a $19 billion increase. And the FY2001 Budget Resolution set military spending at $310.8 billion, $18.2 billion more than FY2000. According to the Balanced Budget Agreement of 1997, every dollar of increase for the Pentagon will mean a dollar less to address critical social and economic infrastructure needs.

This is the third year in a row that the National Priorities Project has issued its assessment of how federal spending policies impact states and communities. Besides issuing a national report on The State of the States, NPP also produces individualized reports for each of the 50 states, such as the New York report that it is issuing in conjunction with the Fiscal Policy Institute, Statewide Youth Advocacy, The Interfaith Alliance of New York and the Community Service Society of New York. According to NPP’s rankings, no state lost more federal support than New York over the last 18 years. At the same time the report shows that New York continues to have substantial social needs. For example, New York had the highest percentage of families unable to afford the fair market rent for housing and the fifth highest child poverty rate.

“We have an historic opportunity to redefine national security in terms of how we care for the people of this nation rather than by how many weapons we can stockpile,” said Greg Speeter, Executive Director of the National Priorities Project. “We can keep our borders secure and still create jobs that pay a livable wage, provide a decent education and access affordable health care. These things should also be seen as measures of national security.”

David R. Jones, Chief Executive Officer and President of the Community Service Society of New York, responded to the report by listing the areas in which his organization, (a private, nonprofit social service organization which since it was formed over 150 years ago has led the fight in New York City against poverty) would like to see federal funds invested. “Welfare reform made an implicit promise; if you work you will be able to lift your family out of poverty. Federal spending should make good on that deal. Low-income workers need more access to Food Stamps, medical insurance, job training, as well as a more generous Earned Income Tax Credit.”

On Friday, June 2, representatives of Statewide Youth Advocacy, The Interfaith Alliance of New York State and the Fiscal Policy Institute joined Greg Speeter and Pam Schwartz of the National Priorities Project in presenting an educational briefing on how federal spending priorities impact New Yorkers. The briefing was held at the State Capitol in Albany.

Ed Bloch, Director of The Interfaith Alliance of New York State, discussed the connections between the large portion of the federal budget that goes to military spending and the pursuit of social justice objectives. “Compelling evidence demonstrates that technology cannot provide dependable security. We will find security only when people outside our borders and within them can achieve the scriptural demands of all faiths and live in peace, relative equality and mutual respect — and not before. The true time bomb grows out of the polarization of wealth, income and services provided. New York State is the pre-eminent example of such polarization. The mountains of wealth heaped on the Pentagon and its providers comes at the expense of care for those least well off, making our increasingly violent community more fragile than ever.” (Full text of Ed’s remarks at the briefing.)

Elie Ward, Executive Director of Statewide Youth Advocacy, spoke about the impact of federal funding priorities on New York’s children and families. “Federal funding decisions directly impact the range of programs and services available to children in New York state. It is imperative that members of Congress provide the necessary leadership to ensure children’s programmatic needs are reflected in our national budget priorities.”

Frank Mauro, Executive Director of the Fiscal Policy Institute discussed the relevance to this year’s Congressional elections of Senator Daniel P. Moynihan’s annual reports on New York State and the Federal Fisc. Moynihan’s most recent report indicated that New York’s “balance of payments deficit” with the federal treasury for 1998 was $15 billion, the fourth largest of any state in the nation. According to Mauro, a much more important finding of Moynihan’s report for New York State’s Congressional candidates, is that our state ranks near the bottom in the distribution of so-called “discretionary” federal spending – 48th in per capita military spending and 42nd in per capita non-defense discretionary spending – but first per capita when it comes to means-tested assistance programs, including Medicaid, AFDC, Food Stamps, Housing Assistance, and Unemployment Insurance. “When federal funds are distributed on the basis of objective measures of need, New York does well,” said Mauro. “We need the federal government to reexamine its priorities and make a real commitment to distributing federal funds on the basis of objective measures of need. New York voters can and should ask their Congressional candidates how they will work to move the federal budget in this direction.”

* * * * * * * * *

The National Priorities Project is a privately funded, research and education organization that provides citizen and community groups with tools and resources that they can use to shape federal budget priorities which promote social and economic justice.

The Fiscal Policy Institute is a non-partisan research and education organization founded in 1991 to increase public and governmental understanding of issues related to the fairness of New York’s tax system and the stability and adequacy of state and local public services.

Community Service Society of New York, a private, nonprofit social service organization dedicated to fostering a better life for poor residents of New York City. Since it began over 150 years ago, CSS has been a leader in the fight against poverty, focusing its efforts on income maintenance, health care, affordable housing and education.

The Interfaith Alliance of New York State (TIANYS) is a grassroots organization that provides a mainstream, faith-based voice on issues involving justice and peace.

Statewide Youth Advocacy, Inc. is a private not-for-profit organization dedicated to improving the lives of New York’s children.

An Agenda for a Better New York: Modernizing New York’s Unemployment Insurance System

June 2000. A new report by Jennifer McCormick and Trudi Renwick. Executive summary below; also see full report.

On the last day of the 1998 Legislative Session, a significant Unemployment Insurance (UI) reform bill was passed by both houses of the legislature and later signed into law by Governor Pataki. This wide-ranging bill addressed many aspects of the UI program: employer tax rates, the taxable wage base, the maximum benefit amount, seasonal employers and individual eligibility. A more limited set of reforms, some of which corrected technical difficulties with the 1998 package, passed in January 2000.

Unfortunately, even with the these recent reforms, New York’s UI program, quite simply, has not kept pace with the changing nature of the state’s labor force. First, while New York’s employed labor force is covered in the highest proportion ever, New York’s unemployed workers are covered in the smallest proportion ever. While this saves on payments out of the already precariously financed trust fund, it runs counter to the nature of the program. The large share of the unemployed that does not receive benefits raises important policy questions about the design of the program. Some of the 1998 reforms to the New York program actually exacerbated the problem — making it more difficult for some insured workers to qualify for benefits. New York’s choice of the insured unemployment rate as a “trigger” for extended benefits saves the state money but leaves thousands of long-term unemployed workers without benefits and denies the state significant federal matching funds when the economy most needs fiscal stimulation.

Second, benefits that are paid out are often inadequate. Sporadic legislative initiatives to lift the ceiling on the maximum weekly benefit have trailed behind increases in the cost of living. The 1998 UI reform legislation increased the maximum weekly benefit from $300 per week to $365 per week. This was an important and needed change. But, even more importantly from a conceptual perspective, it also provided that in September 2000 the maximum weekly benefit would be increased again but this time not to an amount set forth in the law, but to one-half the average weekly wage in the state. The new law provides for the application of this indexing approach only on this single occasion, but a clear precedent has been established on which New York should build. This paper explains why this indexing approach is so important and why it should become a permanent, regular feature of New York State’s UI system. This paper also explores further reforms which would increase the adequacy of benefits for the lowest paid workers and workers with dependents.

Third, the health of New York’s trust fund is poor: its balance as a percent of total wages is smaller than all but two states — Maine and Texas. Even the 1998 increase in maximum taxable earnings from $7000 to $8500 was not sufficient to restore a healthy reserve in the trust fund.

Fourth, there are a number of administrative concerns which should be addressed. The State Advisory Council was been left without effective staff support. Increasingly the New York State Department of Labor is relying on automated telephone systems to administer the UI program. Neighborhood UI offices have been closed leaving hundred of applicants without access to UI experts to resolve eligibility and benefit issues.

While federal law drives much of the UI program, New York State has a great deal of flexibility it could use to strengthen its UI system. This paper will describe briefly how the UI program works, examine current issues facing New York’s system in greater detail and make a series of recommendations to improve the system. While significant changes were enacted in 1998, many reforms that would improve the economic security of New York’s labor force have yet to be accomplished. New York should:

  • Modify the eligibility requirements that leave so many of the unemployed without benefits;
  • Strengthen the adequacy of benefits;
  • Index the taxable wage base; and
  • Reactivate the State Advisory Council and carefully monitor the implementation of new UI rules and particularly the telephone claim system.
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