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This could be the year Missouri finally passes jobless benefits reform

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Sign in a shop that says We are hiring

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.

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

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