House Committee gives approval to legislation to protect Missouri’s Unemployment Trust Fund

The House Workforce Development and Workplace Safety Committee voted do pass Senate Bill 673 on April 14, legislation that makes changes to Missouri’s unemployment insurance system to ensure solvency of this important safety net for unemployed workers. The bill, sponsored by Sen. Mike Kehoe (R-Jefferson City), would tie the number of weeks jobless Missourians can receive unemployment benefits to the unemployment insurance rate.

Following the recession, Missouri’s unemployment insurance system became insolvent and had to borrow money from the federal government to cover claims. Missouri has borrowed more than $1 billion since then to continue paying unemployment benefits. Employers have paid millions in interest alone on the borrowed funds.

Both Georgia and Florida have passed legislation that ties unemployment benefit weeks to the unemployment rate.

Under Senate Bill 673, unemployed Missourians would be eligible for:

  • 20 weeks of benefits if the Missouri average unemployment rate is nine percent or higher;
  • 19 weeks of benefits if the Missouri average unemployment rate is between 8.5 percent and 9 percent;
  • 18 weeks of benefits if the Missouri average unemployment rate is 8 percent up to and including 8.5 percent;
  • 17 weeks if the Missouri average unemployment rate is between 7 .5 percent and 8 percent;
  • 16 weeks of benefits if the Missouri average unemployment rate is 7 percent up to and including 7.5 percent;
  • 15 weeks of benefits if the Missouri average unemployment rate is between 6.5 percent and 7 percent;
  • 14 weeks of benefits if the Missouri average unemployment rate is 6 percent up to and including 6.5 percent;
  • 13 weeks of unemployment benefits if the Missouri average unemployment rate is below 6 percent

The Missouri Chamber is the lead advocate of this legislation and has testified multiple times on its behalf. The bill now moves to the House floor for further debate.

For more information on unemployment insurance legislation, contact Tracy King, Missouri Chamber vice president of governmental affairs, at tking@mochamber.com, or by phone at 573-634-3511.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s