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Rep. Fitzpatrick reintroduces bill limiting unemployment benefits

Rep. Fitzpatrick has reintroduced bill HB 1409, a bill designed to limit unemployment benefits.

“Missouri is the only state that has habitually run out of money in its unemployment trust fund,” Rep. Scott Fitzpatrick, R-Shell Knob, the bill’s sponsor, said.

The bill has been introduced twice previously. In 2015, the bill passed the House and Senate but was vetoed by then-Governor Jay Nixon. The House voted to override the veto in regular session and the Senate voted to override the veto in a later session. The bill was actually in effect for a portion of 2016, until the Senate’s veto override was struck down by the Missouri Supreme Court.

Re-introduced in 2017, the bill passed the Missouri House but stalled in the Senate.

“The bill corrects a problem with our current unemployment system that allows separated employees with severance packages to simultaneously receive UI benefits. The bill also reduces the number of weeks of benefits during times of low unemployment. The bill allows an employer 60 days after the effective date of the bill to timely file an appeal of an erroneous experience rating when that employer has purchased another employer.” said president and CEO of Associated Industries of Missouri, Ray McCarty.

Finally, the bill also provides that the Board of Unemployment Fund Financing shall meet to discuss issuing bonds for repayment of the amount owed the federal government if the state UI fund is depleted and loans are made from the federal government. This allows for all options to be considered by that body.” McCarty said.

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