State House Sound Bites

Capitol reporter Mary Wilson covers Pennsylvania politics and issues at the Pennsylvania state capitol.

Confusion over bills to ban "triple dipping"

Written by Mary Wilson, Capitol Bureau Chief | May 2, 2013 10:01 PM
Thumbnail image for Harrisburg Capitol building with fountain

State lawmakers seem to be confused whether they have a green light under federal law to keep retired state workers from collecting unemployment benefits after they've finished a second tour of duty.

Both the House and Senate have unanimously passed measures to put an end to what they call "triple-dipping" - when a retired state employee comes back to work for the commonwealth for a statutorily limited period of time, and after that period ends, collects unemployment benefits.

Sen. Pat Vance (R-Cumberland), who sponsored the Senate proposal, says she found out about the practice from a constituent's phone call.

"They just said, 'I think this is unfair - I think this is something you should look at.'"

This week, Vance's measure passed the Senate. An identical bill passed in the state House last month.

But it would appear that both bills are due for some tuning-up. Steve Miskin, spokesman for House Majority Leader Mike Turzai, said his caucus is waiting for word from the state Department of Labor and Industry to fix language in the bill that would conflict with federal law. Vance said that problem had been solved in her measure, but it appears to be identical to the House proposal.

Either way, said Miskin, "one of these bills will go to the governor's desk."

Published in State House Sound Bites

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