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AIM testifies in favor of reducing unemployment benefits when jobs are available

February 25, 2022 - On Thursday morning AIM president and CEO Ray McCarty testified in favor of House Bill 1860, a bill that would reduce the number of weeks of unemployment available when the unemployment rate is lower.


Similar provisions were passed by the General Assembly several years ago, vetoed by then-Gov. Jay Nixon, and the legislature overrode the veto. The Supreme Court ruled the manner in which the override votes were taken were not valid, and allowed the veto to stand. AIM and other groups have been trying to pass the language ever since.


House Bill 1860 changes the average unemployment rate requirement in order for an insured worker to receive unemployment compensation benefits to:


  1. Twenty weeks if the Missouri unemployment rate is higher than 9%;

  2. Nineteen weeks if the Missouri unemployment rate is higher than 8.5% but no higher than 9%;

  3. Eighteen weeks if the Missouri unemployment rate is higher than 8% but no higher than 8.5%;

  4. Seventeen weeks if the Missouri unemployment rate is higher than 7.5% but no higher than 8%;

  5. Sixteen weeks if the Missouri unemployment rate is higher than 7% but no higher than 7.5%;

  6. Fifteen weeks if the Missouri unemployment rate is higher than 6.5% but no higher than 7%;

  7. Fourteen weeks if the Missouri unemployment rate is higher than 6% but no higher than 6.5%;

  8. Thirteen weeks if the Missouri unemployment rate is higher than 5.5% but no higher than 6%;

  9. Twelve weeks if the Missouri unemployment rate is at or below 5.5%;

  10. Eleven weeks if the Missouri unemployment rate is higher than 4.5% but no higher than 5%;

  11. Ten weeks if the Missouri unemployment rate is higher than 4% but no higher than 4.5%;

  12. Nine weeks if the Missouri unemployment rate is higher than 3.5% but no higher than 4%;

  13. Eight weeks if the Missouri unemployment rate is at or below 3.5%.


For the purposes of this schedule, "Missouri unemployment rate" means the statewide unemployment rate as published by the United States Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, on the date that the worker applies for such benefits.


McCarty stated in his testimony that he would like to see other components of the originally passed bill added to the bill. McCarty noted one such provision would stop former workers who receive a termination or severance package from simultaneously receiving unemployment benefits while still receiving their full rate of pay.


"Missouri is an outlier in that area," he said. "Even states such as New York had fixed their laws to say if you receive a termination or severance package then you do not get unemployment at the same time. This is important for the health of our unemployment trust fund and those that need the benefits."


The committee took no action during the hearing. We will update you on any future action.






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