Controlling unemployment insurance costs has been a top priority for most states across the country. Recently, several have even passed legislation to reduce benefits or tie the number of eligible weeks to the local jobless rate.

The idea, of course, is that a reduction in benefits will save the state money or even encourage more unemployed workers to quickly find jobs. This type of initiative has gained steam in Missouri, where a number of legislators have backed a proposal to reduce unemployment benefits, link the amount of weeks to the employment rate and alter employers’ related fees.

Bill heads to governor
The legislation is currently waiting approval – or a veto – from Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon.

“Concerns over UI trust fund have led to a new bill in Missouri.”

The core of the bill revolves around unemployment insurance eligibility. At the moment, Missouri allows claimants to receive benefits for up to 20 weeks. If the legislation is approved, the new cap could be as low as 13 weeks, should the jobless rate decline. Other critical changes revolve around local employers – a higher state unemployment fund total must be reached before businesses would have their UI fees lowered.

This current version of the legislation was recently passed by a vote of 88-68, which, while enough to get through both the House and the Senate, isn’t enough to override a veto from Nixon.

Bill has support from community members
Like with all bills, there are both supporters and detractors. However, this piece of legislation does have backing of community leaders, like the Missouri Chamber of Commerce.

As Mike Lear reported for Missourinet, Chamber president Dan Mehan believes that the bill will help prevent chronic insolvency in the Missouri UI trust fund.

“Following the last recession, Missouri’s unemployment insurance system became insolvent and had to borrow money from the federal government to cover claims, and employers paid millions in interest alone on the borrowed funds,” Mehan noted, according to Lear.

On the other side, opponents to the legislation feel that the specific wording of the bill would prevent jobless workers from paying bills, learning new skills or getting an education after being laid off. For example, Lear reported that a key component of the proposal includes the requirement for all severance and termination pay to run out before benefits kick in.

Even so, the legislation has been approved by the Missouri Congress and is waiting a final opinion from Nixon before it becomes law.

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.
Contact our Sales Team
(800) 207-6926

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