Re: “Probe Employment Security Department’s missteps” [Feb. 12, Opinion]:
As a retired policy analyst and project manager for the Oregon Employment Department, some comments:
• Federally legislated unemployment insurance benefits for gig workers are well-intentioned. But disregard for the complexity of implementation is lacking. Federal legislators need to be sensitive to how and if their laws can be faithfully implemented by all states.
• Washington state Sen. Steve Conway’s idea of a “reserve pool” of adjudicators” is not simple. Layering problem solvers on a complex system with new requirements won’t provide the sound judgment needed.
• Oregon U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden’s idea of a single federal system for all states is a noble, optimistic goal. Many states did originally start from a common platform. But there is significant disparity across states in weekly requirements and maximum benefits. It will be politically difficult to find common ground.
Given the disconnect between Congress and state implementations, the concept of universal basic income tied to a person’s Internal Revenue Service account would be more pragmatic and less prone to hacking, as well as more adaptable to changes in federal legislation.
Courtney Brooks, Silverdale