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Increased funding will assist in reducing backlog at the state level.

The Senate Committee on Appropriations released the Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies (Labor-HHS) Appropriations bill language on Wednesday, September 18, 2019. The bill confirms that Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) administrative funds to the states will be increased by $2 million for FY 2020, while the House of Representatives increase would be $2.5 million.

The Senate bill increases the overall budget for the employment services to $22,318,000, of which $500,000 is held back at the federal level to administer WOTC. The rest – $21,818,000 – goes to the State Workforce Agencies (a $2 million increase) to administer the program. The report language tracks the House’s instructions that the added $2 million is to be used “…to reduce the processing backlog; the remainder is for technical assistance and training to States.”

LEGISLATIVE UPDATE

WOTC ADMINISTRATIVE FUNDS TO THE STATES
WILL BE INCREASED BY $2M FOR FY2020

This is a major win for the WOTC program and lobbyists will be working with the conferees in support of the higher House funding level. Letters and emails to Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) who chairs the House Labor HHS Subcommittee and Nita Lowey (D-NY) who chairs the full House Appropriations Committee, as well as to Senators Roy Blunt (R-MO) who chairs the Senate Labor HHS Subcommittee and Rick Shelby (R-AL) who Chairs the full Senate Appropriations Committee, would be helpful.

To help support the increase of WOTC funding, please go to their website and submit a comment.

The message would be:

“We deeply appreciate the Committee’s increase in funding for the Work Opportunity Tax Credit. This will go a long way to helping to reduce the processing backlog of claims and provide the resources needed to modernize administration of the program in those states that have not had the resources to do so. Given the dramatic increase in WOTC hiring over the past 5 years, we would urge the conferees to agree to the House funding increase of $2.5 M.”

Labor HHS Bill language:

“Out of a designated trust fund known as the Employment Security Administration Account in the Unemployment Trust Fund (total of which is $84,066,000), $22,318,000 from the Trust Fund is for national activities of the employment service, including administration of the Work Opportunity Tax Credit under section 51 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, and the provision of technical assistance and staff training under the Wagner-Peyser Act.

FY2020 Senate LHHS Report language (page 30)

The Committee also recommends $21,818,000 for Employment Service national activities. The administration of the work opportunity tax credit program accounts for $20,485,000 of the recommended amount, an increase of $2,000,000 to reduce the processing backlog; the remainder is for technical assistance and training to States.”

For more information, please contact Synergi Partners.

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