State Rep. Garrett Bradley, (D-Hingham), joined his colleagues in the Massachusetts House of Representatives in passing legislation that freezes a scheduled increase in the unemployment insurance assessment paid by all employers.
Rep. Bradley said, “Once again, the House has acted to balance the needs of employers and employees in Massachusetts by holding steady the rates businesses pay into the state’s unemployment insurance fund. The goal is to stimulate business recovery and the creation of new jobs by lessening the burden on companies who are struggling to recover from the recession.”
The unemployment system run by the Commonwealth is primarily funded by the state’s employers. By law, as the funds in the unemployment system become depleted, employers’ contributions would increase. Freezing the rate at Schedule E will save the average employer from absorbing a nearly 30 percent increase for unemployment insurance per employee and workers would continue to receive the same benefits under this rate freeze.
Furthermore the bill reduces the appropriations for non-executive offices by 1 percent and addresses items that require additional funding or corrective language. For example, the supplemental budget draws $30M from the Stabilization Fund to address a deficit caused by the Hinton Drug Lab case; however, after this draw, the state maintains a healthy balance of $1.2B in the rainy day fund.
This legislation also includes spending provisions for operating deficiencies of immediate need that include $45M for Homeless Family Shelters and $3M for unexpected costs to state agencies as a result of Hurricane Sandy among others.
-Office of Garrett Bradley