Unemployment insurance reform legislation passes House

In response to Kentucky’s ongoing workforce crisis, the Kentucky House on Thursday passed a measure to reform the state’s unemployment insurance system.

House Bill 4, sponsored by Representative Russell Webber, would strengthen Kentucky’s work-search requirements, establish a work share program, and index the number of weeks an individual can receive benefits based on the strength of the economy, among other provisions.

Earlier on Thursday, House Bill 4 passed the House Economic Development and Workforce Investment Committee by a vote of 16-5.

“This bill will only deal with a small part of the overall problem in our state right now, but this is an important first step,” Representative Webber said on the House floor. “Companies consider the number of individuals who are willing to participate in the workforce when selecting a state in which to locate or expand their business, and we cannot be known as a state that is low on workforce.”

The bill also encourages individuals to seek further education or training opportunities and provides additional weeks of benefits for those who do so.

“Pursuing additional education or training doesn’t always mean pursuing a bachelor’s degree,” Webber said. “The upskill provision is an important tool to help Kentuckians seek better job opportunities.”

The bill passed 57-37. Stay tuned to The Bottom Line for more updates.

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Manager of Public Affairs, Kentucky Chamber of Commerce

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