Changes could be coming – for the U.S. Department of Labor, unemployment insurance and employers across the country. This is due to Pres. Barack Obama’s new fiscal 2016 budget plan, which includes a number of provisions geared toward employee benefits and safety.

According to The Wall Street Journal, the new budget intends to completely overhaul unemployment insurance. This time last year, the discussion centered around long-term benefits, but relevant legislation died out in Congress before it could be signed into law. Since then, the national conversation on UI benefits has quieted, but Obama’s budget could bring it back into the spotlight.

One key provision is an increase in funding for the Labor Department, the news source noted. The budget proposes a $1.3 billion to $13.2 billion uptick in funding for the coming fiscal year. Some of this increase would be dedicated to the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration, which focuses on employee safety. In terms of unemployment insurance, the budget intends to create a system better designed to handle an economic downturn, when the number of claims sharply increases.

This issue was the one so hotly debated last year, and it is likely that more conversations will take place in Congress over the coming months. As it currently stands, Obama’s fiscal budget has already met criticism, including from House Education and Workforce chairman John Kline, R-Minn.

“Middle-class families are being squeezed, and the president wants to double-down on the same failed policies of the last six years,” Kline said, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Opponents concerned over budget
Kline isn’t the only one who has raised concerns regarding Obama’s new budget. In an opinion piece for the Boston Herald, Michael Barone wrote that the changes proposed by the President’s administration could actually create more problems down the line.

“Would the budget have a negative effect on the economy?”

Barone argued that Obama’s budget wouldn’t benefit the middle class at all, and could instead lead to additional headaches with other areas of the economy. One area that could drastically shift involves taxes, and that would have a widespread effect across the country.

What does this all mean for unemployment insurance? Employers will want to keep a close eye on any upcoming legislation, in the event that the proposals impact the economy and the labor market.

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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