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Connecticut General Assembly Passes Measure to Restore Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund

  • Connecticut General Assembly unanimously passes agreement to restore state’s Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund
  • Governor Ned Lamont praises the measure and says he will sign it
  • Bill’s components include broadening the taxable wage base, reducing solvency and experience taxes, and several curtailments to benefits

Summary by Dirk Langeveld

The Connecticut General Assembly has unanimously passed an agreement to restore the state’s Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund. Governor Ned Lamont, who promoted the proposal in April, said he would sign the measure and praised it as the result of negotiations between Democratic and Republican lawmakers, business groups, and labor leaders.

The trust was depleted due to widespread layoffs during the COVID-19 pandemic, forcing Connecticut to borrow from the federal government to cover unemployment claims. However, it has also been plagued by insolvency for 48 of the past 50 years.

The restoration strategy, which is anticipated to reduce taxes on 73 percent of state businesses, includes:

  • Broadening the taxable wage base from the first $15,000 paid to employees to the first $25,000 before indexing to inflation
  • Reducing solvency and experience taxes
  • Several curtailments to benefits, including an increase in the base period earnings required to qualify for benefits from $600 to $1,600, delaying four increases to the weekly benefit, and delaying eligibility until all severance has been paid
  • A number of measures to assist businesses during recessions or economic shocks, including reductions in the solvency or experience tax rate during such crises and not charging employers during and immediately after recessions for benefits paid through the Connecticut Department of Labor’s Shared Work program

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