News & Brews February 11, 2022

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Unemployment fraud cost taxpayers $570M

The House Labor & Industry Committee held hearings yesterday to receive updates on unemployment compensation fraud and how the state is implementing the new unemployment system. Labor & Industry Secretary Jennifer Berrier testified that since the start of the pandemic, unemployment fraud has cost Pennsylvanians approximately $570 million, with fraudulent claims representing 6.3% of all claims paid by the department from March 2020 through the third quarter of 2021. The hearing comes as the state’s unemployment system struggled (to say the least) over the last two years, with hundreds of thousands of claims backlogged. Read more here.

Senate race fundraising in eight charts

The Inquirer charted various aspects of fundraising in the Pennsylvania race for U.S. Senate, including who has the most small-dollar donors, who’s getting the most money from outside of PA, and how much candidates are getting from individuals, political action committees, and themselves. Check out the charts here.

Arrows fly in GOP gubernatorial primary

With more than a dozen candidates running, we knew the GOP gubernatorial primary would be heated. The Inquirer reports on a new group that’s been set up to support former Congressman Lou Barletta against fellow candidate former U.S. Attorney Bill McSwain.

Bonuses for teachers? Teachers’ union passes on the chance

Our friends at Americans for Fair Treatment noted that the American Rescue Plan, which passed last year, included $123 billion for K-12 education—”enough to give each teacher a $38,000 bonus.” But instead of fighting for more pay for teachers, the country’s largest teachers’ union fought to increase its own bottom line. Read more here.

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