Gov. Tom Corbett is scheduled to sign a bill this afternoon that intends to wipe the slate clean on Pennsylvania's unemployment compensation debt to the federal government.
Last week, the General Assembly voted through Senate Bill 1310.
The bill calls for the sale of up to $4.5 billion in bonds to pay off the roughly $3.9 billion debt, plus interest. It also would narrow the scope of benefit eligibility to help bring the commonwealth's unemployment compensation trust fund to solvency by 2019.
The legislation is expected to save employers about $175 million to $200 million because the interest on the bonds would be less expensive than the interest on the federal debt, lawmakers said.
Beginning next year, the measure would freeze the maximum weekly benefit at $573 through 2019. Workers who made 50.5 percent of their annual income or more in one quarter would no longer be eligible for benefits, a change from the current 63 percent limit, according to the bill.
The change would affect less than 10 percent of those unemployed and save the system an annual $276 million, lawmakers said.
Corbett is slated to sign the measure into law at 1 p.m. in the Labor and Industry Building.