January 11, 2024 Less than a minute read

Missouri Chamber testifies in favor of legislation to modify unemployment benefits

The Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry is once again supporting legislation that would incentivize unemployed Missourians to rejoin the workforce.

SB 745, sponsored by Sen. Mike Bernskoetter (R-Jefferson City) would modify the duration of unemployment benefits based on the unemployment rate.

At a recent hearing of the Senate General Laws Committee, which Bernskoetter chairs, the senator told committee members that under current law, the maximum duration for an individual to receive unemployment benefits is 20 weeks. 

SB 745 would create a sliding scale model that would tie the length of unemployment benefits to the state’s unemployment rate. The duration would range from a high of 20 weeks if the Missouri unemployment rate is higher than 9% to eight weeks if the unemployment rate is at or below 3.5%.

“Businesses and employers have expressed that it is impossible to find employees,” Bernskoetter told his fellow committee members. “Local businesses are reporting that only one or two employees are showing up for work or that workers will only work a day or two before going back on unemployment.”

Bernskoetter is a small business owner himself and said he has had trouble trying to find employees. He added that he and other lawmakers have supported similar types of legislation over the past several years, but for various reasons it has failed to make it into law.

Phillip Arnzen, Missouri Chamber director of legislative affairs, testified in support, saying, “When times are good, we need to make sure we are putting as much resources as we can into the unemployment funds. That way, whenever we inevitably have bad times with higher unemployment, we have the resources available.”

For more information, contact Arnzen at parnzen@mochamber.com or 573-634-3511.


Related Resources