Lawmakers again stop business tax hike, jobless benefit drop
BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Louisiana lawmakers have agreed to keep the rules governing the state’s unemployment trust fund static, avoiding the increase in business taxes and the drop in jobless benefits that would have otherwise been triggered by the draining of the trust fund.
The unemployment fund is nearly bankrupt after more than a year of payments to workers forced out of their jobs by the coronavirus pandemic. Louisiana has borrowed about $200 million from the federal government to keep unemployment benefits flowing.
To refill the fund, state law requires tax hikes on businesses and a decline in benefits for jobless workers who receive some of the lowest unemployment payments in the nation. Lawmakers last year delayed those provisions from taking effect for a year, saying the changes were inappropriate amid an economic recovery.
Three measures by Republican Sen. Mike Reese, of Leesville, will continue that suspension for another year. The final pieces won final passage Wednesday in a 33-0 Senate vote and a 94-0 House vote.
The move will keep unemployment benefits at a maximum of $247 per week and save businesses millions in taxes.
Meanwhile, lawmakers are poised to steer federal coronavirus aid to both pay off the debt and pour as much as $300 million into the unemployment trust fund in hopes of getting it on better financial footing.
Desktop NewsClick to open Continuous News in a sidebar that updates in real-time.
Dozens attend vigil for Allie Rice on LSU campus; police hold walk...
Woman's car damaged thanks to gas pump mix-up; insurance company steps up...
Louisiana sends aid to Florida after Hurricane Ian disaster
After questionable decisions from judges, expert says holding them accountable could take...
Fugitive shot to death after search led federal marshals to EBR neighborhood
Fans' Choice Player of the Week 4: Central's Glen Cage
Plaquemine's Jayden Rogers leading the Green Devils through music
Southeastern knocks off #4 Incarnate Word on Eli Sawyer game winning touchdown...
McKinley High's homecoming football game canceled after bench-clearing brawl broke out between...
LSU Baseball team volunteers with Baton Rouge's Miracle League