State and federal legislation have a major impact on unemployment insurance and the yearly costs facing employers across the country. At the moment, an extension to long-term jobless benefits has stalled in Congress, but another bill – aimed at revitalized an outdated Workforce Investment Act – could provide some key assistance and an avenue for additional changes.

In late May, Congress announced new legislation that would completely alter the existing Workforce Investment Act of 1998, according to the National Association of State Workforce Agencies. Of note are improvements made to federal workforce development programs, worker training programs and other shifts designed to create a more modern, current workforce. Sponsors for the bill include both Democrats and Republicans, including the chairman of the Senate Committee on Health, Labor and Pensions Tom Harkin and House Committee on Education and the Workforce chairman John Kline.

In addition, NASWA explained that the new legislation will be called the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, and remove 15 programs from its predecessor, such as the WIA Workforce Innovation Fund. Moreover, the bill will require state agencies to work with local officials in regards to economic planning and development to help bolster labor markets. Employers who partake in on-the-job training will also be eligible, in some cases, for 75 percent reimbursement rates.

Could legislation lead to UI bill?
There is a small chance that the new, bipartisan WIOA legislation could provide an opportunity to pass an unemployment insurance extension through Congress. According to California-based media outlet the Press Enterprise, however, that scenario remains unlikely.

Jamil Dada, president of Riverside County, California’s Workforce Investment Board, told the news source that attaching an unemployment insurance bill would have likely sunk the changes to the Workforce Investment Act.

At the moment, Congress has made little progress on passing any bill that would reinstate jobless benefits to the many long-term unemployed across the country. The Press Enterprise explained that many reservations remain about the potential of any legislation to create new jobs. A potential bill was passed in the Senate recently, but encountered problems in the House. Specifically, Speaker of the House John Boehner has been an outspoken critic of the current proposal.

At Corporate Cost Control, we work closely with employers across the country to better manage the nuances of unemployment insurance. Legislation changes on the state level could impact you today, and we welcome any questions or concerns you may have on a wide range of topics.


Contact CCC to see how we can save your organization time and money.
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