As you are painfully aware, Massachusetts employers were saddled with the burden of replenishing the Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund through higher UI taxes over the next 20 years to pay down the $7 billion deficit. Due to a record number of pandemic layoffs, as a result of the state mandated shutdowns and restrictions that lasted for an extended period of time, the fund was quickly depleted by July of 2020.
NFIB has continuously stressed the need for UI tax relief for well over a year as it became abundantly clear an unemployment insurance crisis was brewing. So far, lawmakers froze the rate schedule and addressed the solvency assessment issues but stopped short of using state or federal aid to replenish the funds. However, on August 18th that changed when Governor Baker announced a supplemental budget calling for $1 billion in surplus tax revenue to be used for the UI Trust Fund.
This supplemental budget will now go before the House and Senate for consideration and approval. NFIB helped coordinate a coalition of business groups and drafted a joint letter to Senate President Karen Spilka and House Speaker Ron Mariano urging them to approve the use of the $1 billion in the Baker proposal, as well as additional federal money.
We also want to thank all NFIB members who helped in this effort by contacting the Governor and their lawmakers through our many UI issue alerts over the last year. Please anticipate more as we move into the Fall and attempt to make certain the legislature supports this UI tax relief effort.