NFIB State Director Dawn Starns McVea released the following statement following the passage of House Bill 642 by Speaker Clay Schexnayder, a proposal to use some of the $3.2 billion the state received under the American Rescue Plan of 2021. This legislation, in part, shores up the state’s unemployment compensation fund and expands broadband access in rural communities:
“Our members are relieved that the state is committed to using $400 million to replenish Louisiana’s unemployment compensation fund and pay back the funds borrowed from the federal government to keep the fund afloat. The pandemic put so many people out of work that the unemployment fund, one of the strongest in the country pre-COVID, was completely wiped out. Using federal dollars to restore the unemployment compensation fund means the state can avoid borrowing more money from the federal government and raising taxes on small businesses which our members just cannot bear the cost of right now.
“We’re also pleased that the state is setting aside $90 million to expand broadband to rural communities. Broadband is fast internet, and without it, local businesses can’t compete, and communities have a tough time attracting jobs.”