AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) - A bipartisan legislative watchdog panel wants answers about reports that state unemployment insurance hearing officers were improperly influenced.
The Government Oversight Committee voted Friday to pose questions to two other bodies that are already probing Maine's unemployment compensation system.
The issue arises following reports that Gov. Paul LePage pressured unemployment hearing officers, who decide unemployment benefit appeals, to decide more cases to favor business. The Maine Employment Lawyers Association has asked federal labor officials to look into the claims. The governor's also appointed a special commission to investigate the state's system of paying benefits to jobless workers.
On Friday, the Government Oversight Committee directed the Office of Program Evaluation and Government Accountability to get more details about the two other investigations so it will know whether further inquiry is needed.
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