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ST. PAUL – A measure designed to assist northeastern Minnesota iron workers who no longer have unemployment compensation has been approved in the Minnesota House. State Representative Bob Gunther (R-Fairmont) voted in favor of the proposal, which provides an additional 26 weeks of unemployment benefits to laid off workers, and also addresses Minnesota's unemployment insurance trust fund.
"This bill helps hundreds of people who are out of a job, and gives a break to the small employers who pay into the unemployment fund that is overflowing with revenue," Gunther said.
Gunther noted that Minnesota's unemployment fund is financed through a tax on employers – many of which have 10 or fewer employees working for them. The fund currently has a balance of $1.6 billion.
The proposal will ensure the future solvency of the trust fund, and create new calculations in order to better monitor fund levels.
"It's going to decrease the amount small business owners will have to pay, and give them a break after our state has forced them to pay the full amount for many years," Gunther said.
The bill now heads to the Minnesota Senate for its approval.
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