NFIB State Director Dawn Starns McVea released the following statement today following the passage of two bills — House Bill 642, which provides much-needed financial support for Louisiana’s unemployment trust fund, and House Bill 183, which addresses the state’s labor shortage:
“H.B. 642 is a big relief for small business owners because it’s a lot less likely now that the state will have to significantly raise taxes to shore up the state’s unemployment trust fund,” McVea said.
So many people applied for unemployment benefits during the pandemic that the state had to borrow money from the federal government to continue making the weekly payments, McVea said. Under the bill, $190 million will go toward repaying the federal loans will $300 will be used to shore up the trust fund going forward.
House Bill 183, meanwhile, calls for Gov. John Bel Edwards to end the temporary $300 weekly federal unemployment supplement effective July 31 to help offset a $28 weekly increase in benefits for new unemployment claims beginning Jan. 1. “Small businesses and other employers are having a terrible time finding people to work,” McVea said. “Ending the federal supplement before it expires in September will encourage more people to reenter the workforce.
“We believe these bills put Louisiana on the path to economic recovery from COVID-19 by helping avoid tax increases on small business owners with a replenished fund, address the labor shortage being exacerbated by the federal enhanced benefits and stabilize the fund balance by getting folks back to work,” McVea said.
“The legislature has worked together this session to pass measures like these as well as major tax reform that could ignite the Louisiana economy and enable Louisiana’s job creators,” McVea said. “On behalf of our members, we urge Governor Edwards to sign both bills into law as soon as possible.”