Plan to Expand UI Benefits Disastrous for Business: Contact Your Legislator

As previously reported the Legislature is considering costly benefit expansions in the unemployment insurance (UI) system that will raise UI taxes even higher than they are now.

Every Washington state employer experienced an increase in their UI taxes this year and many experienced increases exceeding 500 percent. These taxes are projected to increase again next year just due to the slower-than-predicted economic recovery.

The Senate Commerce Labor and Consumer Protection Committee passed out a bill SB 6793 that is “title only” meaning the specifics will be added later. But the intended elements of the bill are well-known in Olympia and AGC members should contact their legislators with a message that emphasizes these points:

DONT EXPAND BENEFITS for part-time employees.

DONT EXPAND benefits to individuals who voluntarily quit their jobs.

DONT INCREASE the benefit multiplier to increase weekly benefit payments.

DONT INCREASE weekly benefit payments.

Click here to access AGC’s easy-to-use Legislative Action Center and contact your elected representatives today.

The governor recently stated that she wanted to do no harm to our economy or our employers. But each of these changes -- all endorsed by Gov. Gregoire -- will most certainly harm the economy because it will raise employer taxes. That means more businesses will be looking to cover more costs at a time when many are just getting by.

Committee members who voted in favor of SB 6793 were Senators Franklin Keiser Kline and Kohl-Welles. Those who voted no (in support of AGC’s position) were Senators Honeyford and King.

For more information on this proposal contact AGC’s Government Affairs Manager Christine Swanson 360-352-5000.