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McCarty says governor vetoes common sense unemployment legislation

Tuesday afternoon (6/17), Governor Nixon announced his veto of Senate Bill 673, legislation designed to tie the number of weeks laid off workers can get unemployment benefits to the rate of unemployment in the state.

The bill, sponsored by Sen. Mike Kehoe (R-Jefferson City) placed a limit of 20 weeks of benefits in hard times, down to 13 weeks during periods of high employment.

“Senator Kehoe put together a common sense approach to unemployment that should have been approved by the Governor,” said Associated Industries of Missouri president Ray McCarty. “When the unemployment rate is lower, there are more jobs and people should not need as many weeks of unemployment.”

SB 673  would have raise the cap on how much money could be kept in Missouri’s unemployment trust fund, and it required a state board to consider issuing bonds to fortify the fund whenever its debt to the federal government exceeds $300 million.

The state only this week finally re-payed all the Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund money it owed to the federal government, a debt dating back to 2009.

“The bill also would have required a state board to do its job: meet and decide if it is in employers’ best interest to issue bonds when the state owes the federal government due to large payouts of unemployment claims,” said McCarty. “This legislation was simply commonsense and there was no logical reason for its veto, which is why we will push to override the veto in September.”

The legislation passed the Missouri Senate 24-8, and the Missouri House by a 101-48 margin with nine legislators absent.

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