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Unemployment Bill Awaits Final Vote

Unemployment Bill Awaits Final Vote

As the Alabama Legislature begins what is likely its final week of the 2018 Regular Session, the House of Representatives could consider legislation changing state unemployment law.

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.

Supporters say 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 early in the session and could be on the House calendar Tuesday. (Federation supports)

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