The Missouri House has passed legislation to help stabilize Missouri’s unemployment insurance trust fund. House Bill 288, sponsored by Rep. Scott Fitzpatrick, ties the unemployment rate to the weeks unemployment benefits are available to jobless Missourians. In addition, the bill adjusts employers’ payments into the state’s unemployment insurance trust fund to sustain a balance that can weather economic downturns in order to be able to continue paying benefits without going into debt.
“Missouri’s Unemployment Trust Fund has borrowed money from the federal government during the last five economic downturns, costing employers millions of dollars in interest,” said Tracy King, Missouri Chamber vice president of governmental affairs. “This bill takes common-sense steps toward stabilizing our system. Employers, who fully fund our unemployment system, would much rather pay what is necessary to sustain claims than pay millions in useless interest charges. At the same time, it makes sense to make more funds available when more Missourians are out of work. This bill strikes a good balance between employers and employees.”
Below is the breakdown of weeks of eligibility and unemployment rates:
This legislation is the same as House Bill 150 passed by the General Assembly in the 2015 Legislative Session. The legislation was vetoed by former Gov. Jay Nixon. Although Gov. Nixon’s veto was overridden, the Missouri Supreme Court ruled that the manner in which it was overridden was unconstitutional and so the legislation never became law.