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Senator Jim Beach, D-Camden and Chairman of the Senate Military and Veterans Affairs Committee, listens to testimony during today’s committee hearing.

TRENTON – Legislation sponsored by Senate Labor Committee Chairman Fred H. Madden and Senator Jim Beach to streamline the process businesses use to pay into the unemployment insurance system in order to safeguard benefits for New Jersey’s unemployed was approved today by the full Senate.

The bill (S-2415) would implement a recommendation made by the state Auditor in 2013. The audit found that the Department of Labor and Workforce Development (DOLWD) was using methods such as hand carrying or using a courier to deliver some unemployment tax payments to the Division of Revenue (DOR), increasing the risk of lost payments.

“This is a common sense change that will ensure UI payments made by businesses are submitted directly to Treasury. Clearly, this is a more efficient system for processing payments than hand-delivering checks from one state department to another,” said Senator Madden (D-Gloucester/Camden). “Ensuring payments are sent directly to the appropriate department will protect the funding that New Jersey’s unemployed rely on to make ends meet. At the same time, it will remove any confusion about the process for businesses.”

As part of its review of the Department of Labor and Workforce Development (DLWD), the State Auditor performed cash counts on three separate dates and counted checks on hand totaling over $525,000. Noting that the continuing practice of sending some checks to the DLWD is lengthy and opens up the possibility for error, the State Auditor recommended that all unemployment payments be submitted electronically or sent directly to the Division of Revenue. The bill (S-2415) would implement that recommendation, by clarifying that all payments, reports and receipts from employers related to the unemployment compensation program must be submitted directly to the Division of Revenue in the Department of the Treasury.

“The audit found that checks intended for the unemployment fund were being hand delivered to the Treasury Department, increasing the risk for impropriety. It makes no sense to move hundreds of thousands of dollars between state departments through a courier system, especially when the transaction process can be improved significantly through minor adjustments,” said SenatorBeach (D-Camden). “This bill will ensure that all payments to the UI fund go the right place, and by doing so remove the risk that money could get lost in the shuffle.”

S-2415 was approved by a vote of 33-0. The bill was approved by the Assembly with a vote of 72-0. It now heads to the governor’s desk.