Walk-in Unemployment Centers Have Been Closed Since Beginning of Pandemic
Senator Kristin Corrado urged Governor Phil Murphy to keep his promise to fully reopen State government offices that have been closed since the start of the pandemic.
Sen. Kristin Corrado urged Gov. Phil Murphy to keep his promise to fully reopen State government offices that have been closed since the start of the pandemic. (SenateNJ.com)
“Important State offices, including unemployment walk-in centers, have been closed for nearly 19 months and completely inaccessible to New Jerseyans,” said Corrado (R-40). “Given the long wait, I hope the rumors aren’t true that some offices may have their reopenings pushed back beyond the date the governor set for his administration to get back to work. It would be yet another failure of leadership if Governor Murphy delayed the full reopening of State government any longer.”
Many State offices, including the Labor Department’s One-Stop Career Centers, have remained closed since shutting down in March of 2020.
For more than a year, Governor Murphy has defied numerous bipartisan calls to reopen walk-in unemployment offices to help the many people who were unable to successfully manage their unemployment claims online or over the phone.
In April, for example, the governor ignored a joint request by Corrado and Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg (D-37) to reopen unemployment offices to serve a surge of claimants whose benefits were blocked erroneously.
That request followed a bipartisan letter from the senators to the Labor Commissioner a month earlier in which they stressed the need for the Murphy administration to prioritize “face to face assistance.”
In late August, Governor Murphy finally relented with the announcement that all State workers will return to their offices full-time on Monday, October 18.
“We’ve already heard from constituents who will be lining up outside the walk-in unemployment centers when they are scheduled to reopen next week to try to resolve claims that have been in limbo for weeks or months,” added Corrado. “Given the pent-up frustration of so many New Jerseyans, I wouldn’t want to be Governor Murphy if he breaks his promise by failing to reopen all State offices to the public on Monday. The doors better be unlocked, the lights turned on, and the centers fully staffed for business.”