House sends bill limiting UI benefits to governor
The Missouri House of Representatives Wednesday sent Governor Nixon a bill that would reduce the weeks an unemployed person in Missouri would be eligible for benefits based on the state’s unemployment rate.
Senate Bill 673, sponsored by Sen. Mike Kehoe (R-Jefferson City) would reduce the benefit weeks from the current full amount of 20 at 9 percent unemployment, down to 13 weeks when the state’s rate is less than 6 percent.
The bill’s handler in the House, Rep. Jay Barnes (R-Jefferson City), said the bill brings more rationality to Missouri’s unemployment system.
“As the economy is better, the need for unemployment benefits decreases and so too should those benefits,” said Barnes.
The state’s unemployment rate for the first quarter of the year has fluctuated between 6 and 6-and-a-half percent. That would equate to 14 weeks of jobless benefits.
Supporters believe the measure could help the state pay back the money it borrowed from the federal government during the months when the state’s unemployment fund was insolvent.
The legislation calls for the state Board of Unemployment Fund Financing to meet and consider authorizing bonding or other borrowing when more than $300 million is owed to the federal government.