Posted by: Providence Chamber of Commerce | June 2, 2011

Chamber credited with revisions to unemployment fund plan

The Chamber was pleased to be referenced in the 6/1/11 Providence Journal article “Chafee revises proposed changes to jobless fund.” As a staunch advocate for amendments to the original legislation, the Chamber testified on behalf of the business community at the House Finance Committee hearings earlier this spring. The original plan, to restore solvency to the Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund, was submitted to the General Assembly as part of the Governor’s budget proposal.

Currently, upwards of $300 million has been borrowed to address the unprecedented allocation of unemployment benefits within Rhode Island; and the deadline to payback the federal government is on the horizon. The Governor’s original proposal left businesses shouldering twice the cost burden –through significant tax increases, as compared with suggested adjustments in benefit reforms for future recipients.

As Janet Raymond, senior vice president of economic development and operations stated, “We called for a more balanced approach in addressing this issue and a thorough examination of all funding options. However, we understand the need to reform our unemployment benefits program to better align with our neighboring states.  We applaud the Administration for listening to our concerns and submitting revisions to the original plan. We look forward to reviewing the latest proposal on the table.”

The Chamber will continue to monitor discussions and activities associated with this legislation.




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