The Omnibus Appropriations Act, H.R. 83, was signed into law by President Obama in mid-December.   The legislation provides $13.3 billion in funds to the USDOL to pay the state administration costs which includes training & employment services, federally administered programs(dislocated workers and teens), national funding for ex-offender activities, state operation costs, reemployment training and several other programs headed by the USDOL to get the workforce back up to pre-recession numbers. Also included in the act, is retroactive language to provide an additional year to states who have formed consortiums to modernize their system with the Unemployment Insurance Information Technology Modernization grants.

The result of the appropriations will be directed to the USDOL’s FY 2015 budget which calls for investment of funds to improve job training and employment programs; strengthens enforcement of laws that protect workers’ wages and working conditions; provides a strong safety net for workers who lose their jobs or are hurt on the job; and promotes a secure retirement for state workers at the end of their careers. This budget request also enables the Department to lay important groundwork toward improving customer service, employee productivity, and outcomes for workers and employers with technology and business processes.

The appropriations for 2015 are being viewed positively as an effort to return unemployed workers to new positions. As claimants return to work, more individuals are reported to state agencies with the result of recovering unemployment trust funds.   With the recovery of the trust funds, the continual reduction in state rate tables and schedules are expected. The decrease in tax tables will not occur as quickly as they did after previous recessions.   All states are required to have an Average High-Cost Multiple (AHCM) of 1.0.   A detailed powerpoint that explains the AHCM will be released in the future by Corporate Cost Control.

A gradual increase in the taxable wage base for each state is expected for all future years.   States, such as Arizona and California, with low taxable wage base, may see a larger increase in the taxable wage base in future years with adjustments to their tax rate schedules.

If you would like additional information regarding HR 83 in regards to the USDOL budget plan, please visit Fiscal Year 2015 Department of Labor Budget in Brief.


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