La. lawmakers buy time to solve unemployment crisis

Move delays tax hike, delays reduction in weekly benefits
Updated: Sep. 29, 2020 at 9:12 PM CDT
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BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Louisiana lawmakers bought themselves a little over a month to replenish the state’s near-bankrupt unemployment trust fund Tuesday, Sept. 29.

The move will at least delay an automatic tax hike on businesses and a $26 weekly reduction in unemployment payments.

The Revenue Estimating Conference chose not to adopt a new forecast for the fund, which would have formally bankrupted the account balance and forced Louisiana to borrow money from the federal government to replenish the pot.

Lawmakers intend to shift money into the fund during the special session, or suspend the laws that trigger the tax hike and benefit reduction.

RELATED: La. lawmakers call special session to address unemployment, budget issues

“Ensuring that people have the opportunity to gain employment and that businesses are not burdened with another tax on them. That’s something we’ll tackle right off the bat,” House Speaker Clay Schexnayder, R-Gonzales, said.

RELATED: Main Street Recovery Program in Louisiana stops accepting new applications after exhausting funding

The vote is not a permanent solution for the problem and Louisiana will likely require help from Congress. Twenty other states have already started borrowing money from the federal government to ensure their unemployment trust funds remain solvent.

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