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Legislature pushes for modernization of state unemployment system

Maine Department of Labor's ReEmployME service
Maine Department of Labor's ReEmployME service(WABI)
Published: Mar. 23, 2021 at 5:42 PM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Maine (WABI) - Maine’s Speaker of the House announced a new bill today to modernize the state’s unemployment system.

The additional 163,000 Mainers using the unemployment system during the pandemic highlighted extensive problems with it.

A survey by the University of Maine found unemployment insurance applicants over the past year found the system hard to use and faced long delays before receiving benefits.

The current system was a 90-million dollar project developed by multinational corporation TCS which has been plagued by problems for years, according to Speaker Ryan Fecteau.

The new bill aims to improve the user interface and provide better access to assistance.

”We have a system that is, for lack of a better term, just completely wonky.” said Speaker Ryan Fecteau. “It’s interface is what you would expect the employees on the backend to understand, so for the average Mainer who is just trying to get help when they need it most, you’re interacting with a system that is speaking a foreign language.”

The Maine Department of Labor is also developing a similar bill to address concerns with the system.

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