SB 869 - This act modifies provisions relating to employment security.
Under current law, the maximum duration for an individual to receive unemployment benefits is 20 weeks. This act bases the duration on the Missouri unemployment rate as follows:
• 20 weeks if the Missouri average unemployment rate is nine percent or higher;
• 19 weeks if the Missouri average unemployment rate is between 8 1/2% and 9%;
• 18 weeks if the Missouri average unemployment rate is 8% up to and including 8 1/2%;
• 17 weeks if the Missouri average unemployment rate is between 7 1/2% and 8%;
• 16 weeks if the Missouri average unemployment rate is 7% up to and including 7 1/2%;
• 15 weeks if the Missouri average unemployment rate is between 6 1/2% and 7%;
• 14 weeks if the Missouri average unemployment rate is 6% up to and including 6 1/2%; and
• 13 weeks if the Missouri average unemployment rate is below 6%.
These provisions take effect beginning January 1, 2019.
This act modifies the definition of wages for purposes of employment security law to include termination pay and severance pay. The total amount of wages derived from severance pay, if paid to an insured in a lump sum, shall be pro-rated on a weekly basis at the rate of pay received by the insured at the time of termination for the purposes of determining unemployment eligibility.
Recovery of overpayment
Under this act, employers are permitted to recover overpayments to the unemployment compensation fund due to an erroneous experience rating.
Under current law, when the average balance of the unemployment compensation fund rises from between six hundred million and seven hundred twenty million dollars, an employer's contribution rate is reduced by 7% for the following year. This act changes that threshold to between seven hundred twenty million and eight hundred seventy million.
Under current law, when the average balance of the unemployment compensation trust fund exceeds seven hundred fifty million dollars, an employer's contribution rate is reduced by 12% for the following year unless the employer's calculated contribution rate is 6% or greater, in which case, the reduction may be no more than 10%. This act changes that threshold to eight hundred seventy million.
ISSUANCE OF CREDIT INSTRUMENTS
Under current law, the Board of Unemployment Fund Financing may issue credit instruments with a simple majority vote authorizing such issuance. This act requires the board to meet and consider the issuance of credit instruments when the amount owed for total advancements by the federal government exceeds $300 million.
Moreover, under current law, interest is charged to employers when the state has an outstanding balance for federal advancements. Under the act, when credit instruments are issued to pay off the balance of the federal advancement, employers are required to continue to pay the interest assessment to fully finance the credit instruments.
This act is substantially similar to HB 1409 (2018), SCS/SB 189 (2017), HB 288 (2017), HB 150 (2015), which was vetoed by the Governor, HB 673 (2015), and SB 220 (2015).