April 27, 2022 Less than a minute read

This could be the year Missouri finally passes jobless benefits reform

With labor shortages being reported across Missouri, the state legislature is considering policy to help get unemployed Missourians back into the workforce sooner.

The proposed change would create a sliding scale for jobless benefits, tying the length of benefits to the unemployment rate.

The language is contained in both Senate Bill 665 and House Bill 1860, sponsored by Sen. Mike Bernskoetter (R-Jefferson City) and Rep. J. Eggleston (R-Maysville) respectively.

In the most recent progress on this measure, a Senate committee held a public hearing on House Bill 1860. Carol Mitchell, Missouri Chamber general counsel, testified in support. The Senate version is currently awaiting a floor vote to proceed.

Under the proposal, Missourians would be able to receive up to 20 weeks of unemployment when jobs are very scarce. However, when jobs are plentiful — like in today’s economy — the benefits would end sooner, encouraging Missourians to re-enter the workforce.

With more than half of Missouri’s business leaders saying workforce is the top issue impacting their profitability, the Missouri Chamber believes that today’s current labor shortages create an urgent need to finally pass this legislation into law as soon as possible.

Understanding the importance of a strong workforce, the Missouri Chamber continues to advocate for policies that support businesses and their employees. One such effort is the Chamber Benefit Plan, designed to help small businesses provide competitive health care coverage.

For more information, contact Carol Mitchell, Missouri Chamber general counsel, at cmitchell@mochamber.com or 573-634-3511.


Related Resources