Bill further slashes unemployment benefits, AFL-CIO cries foul | Arkansas Blog

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Bill further slashes unemployment benefits, AFL-CIO cries foul

Posted By on Tue, Feb 14, 2017 at 10:00 AM

The AFL-CIO is calling attention to legislation to further cuts in unemployment benefits, on top of recent legislation to raise the income tax on unemployment benefits to help pay for an income tax exemption for military retirees.

It's a windfall for business, already helped by $110 million in benefit cuts since 2011 (with no additional charges to businesses) to retire a deficit in the unemployment benefits trust fund that accumulated during a recession and high unemployment. Unemployment has been at record low levels in Arkansas for months.

So now comes legislation to allow business to enjoy a windfall, while making workers pay.

The legislation decreases the taxable wage rate from $12,000 to $10,000, still higher than some states. But .... the bill would cut unemployment benefit coverage from 20 weeks, already tied for lowest with all surrounding states, to only 16 weeks, by far the lowest in the region. It would also further reduce benefits by changing the formula for payments, from 1/26th to 1/30th of the base wage period.

The legislation claims it's aimed at stability for the unemployment fund. But that fund, once in arrears, is growing steadily, now to more than a half-billion dollars. Said the AFL-CIO:

Fiscal Responsibility is important for our State. We understand that when tough economic times hit we take the appropriate steps to reconcile any shortfalls in state revenue. As you see here, Arkansas workers and their families have taken almost all of the cuts since 2011. How can we lower Employers’ taxable wage base back to pre-recession levels and not return benefits to pre-recession levels, but rather cut them even further….and tax them??? 
Answer: Easy.

Tags: , ,

From the ArkTimes store


Comments (2)

Showing 1-2 of 2

Add a comment

Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-2 of 2

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

  • Turkeys rescued in Yellville enjoy their Thanksgiving

    Farm Sanctuary, an animal protection organization, sends word that four turkeys rescued from the Yellville Turkey Trot after the annual drops from buildings and an airplane will enjoy Thanksgiving in friendlier places
    • Nov 23, 2017
  • The New Orleans charter school 'miracle'? It's a ruse

    The New Orleans Tribune has a devastating piece of editorial commentary, based on local reporting and test scores, that lays bare the depiction of the charterization of New Orleans public schools 12 years ago as a miracle of the "reform" movement.
    • Nov 23, 2017
  • More criticism of UA proposal to change tenure policy

    Reason is among the latest to offer critical commentary of a proposal from University of Arkansas System lawyers to change the tenure policy so that a lack of collegiality could be used as a justification for firing a tenured professor.
    • Nov 23, 2017
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • Judge anticipates punishment of lawyers in Fort Smith class action case

    Federal Judge P.K. Holmes of Fort Smith issued a 32-page ruling yesterday indicating he contemplates punishment of 16 lawyers who moved a class action lawsuit against an insurance company out of his court to a state court in Polk County after a settlement had been worked out.
    • Apr 15, 2016
  • Women's March planned in Arkansas to mark Trump inauguration

    Speaking of Donald Trump and in answer to a reader's question: There will be a women's march in Arkansas on Jan. 21, the day after inauguration, as well as the national march planned in Washington.
    • Dec 30, 2016
  • LR speakers blast state board for double standard

    A series of speakers, beginning with Sen. Joyce Elliott, denounced what they saw as a hidden agenda favoring charter schools at the state Department of Education and asked the state Board of Education for return of local control.
    • May 12, 2016

Most Recent Comments



© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation