February 02, 2018
By Jeff Helms
Farmers and other businesses would see their unemployment tax drop under legislation approved this week by the Alabama Senate.
SB 92 by Sen. Arthur Orr, R-Decatur, would reduce the number of weeks an individual could draw unemployment benefits based on their county’s unemployment rate. The higher the jobless rate, the longer benefits would be paid. However, it also provides an additional five weeks of benefits for workers enrolled and making satisfactory progress in a job training or certification program approved by the Alabama Department of Labor.
These changes would allow growth in the Unemployment Compensation Trust Fund, which is funded by employers. As the fund balance increases, the tax rate charged those employers decreases. According to the Legislative Fiscal Office, the lower tax rate would save businesses up to $50 million a year.
SB 92 passed the Senate last Thursday by a vote of 21-8. It has been assigned to the House Commerce and Small Business Committee.
Federation members are encouraged to contact their representatives and ask them to support the bill.