Monday, October 27, 1997
Tommy G. Thompson
Next year's unemployment insurance:
higher benefits, lower taxes proposed
Higher unemployment insurance benefits for workers and lower taxes for employers are proposed by the Unemployment Compensation Advisory Council, composed of representatives of labor and management.
The proposal is being introduced in the state Legislature as Assembly Bill 571.
"This a bill that is fair to the men and women working in Wisconsin and the employers of this state, while safeguarding the integrity of the Unemployment Insurance Trust fund," said Maureen Hlavacek, Administrator of the Unemployment Insurance Division in the Department of Workforce Development. The trust fund balance is currently $1.6 billion.
- Increases the maximum weekly unemployment benefit rate by $8 to $290 a week in 1998 and by another $7 for 1999. The increases, of 2.8% and 2.4%, approximate the projected increases in the consumer price index.
- Lowers taxes for employers by $17 million in 1998. 1/10 of one percent for all employers who have a positive Unemployment Insurance account balance.
- Makes it easier for new entrants to the workforce and low-paid or part-time workers to qualify for unemployment benefits while retaining the concept that only those with a true attachment to the workforce are eligible for unemployment insurance.
- Creates a funding source to update computer technology by reducing one of the employer taxes and imposing a matching administrative fee. The total amount of taxes paid by an employer will not change.
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