St. Paul, MN – With 10 days left until first-quarter unemployment insurance (UI) payments are due, Rep. Brian Johnson, R-Cambridge, is calling on House Democrats to fulfill their promises and provide relief to Minnesota job creators by reversing the harmful unemployment insurance tax increase that went into effect last month.
“House Republicans had a solution to this unnecessary and harmful tax increase ahead of the deadline,” Johnson said. “Now, it's time that House Democrats actually keep their promise and pass a bill to fix the tax hike.”
With a more than $9.25 billion surplus, Minnesota can more than afford to fill the Unemployment Trust Fund to solvency, reverse the tax increases on employers, and stop Minnesota from borrowing $50,000 a day from the federal government. House Speaker Melissa Hortman, DFL-Brooklyn Park, waived off the original March 15 deadline, insisting that lawmakers had until April 30 when tax bills were due to take action.
The Minnesota Senate passed a bill to refill the UI trust fund on February 14 on a broadly bipartisan 55-11 vote. Replenishing the UI Trust Fund enjoys broad support from Gov. Walz, House Republicans, Senate Republicans, and Senate Democrats, but has been stalled thanks to inaction by the House Democrat majority — Democrats have refused to pass a bill of any kind off the House floor, and it’s been 70 days since the bill last received a hearing. Democrats have also excluded UI repayment from their budget targets released this week, suggesting they have no intention of paying back the UI Trust Fund. If the trust fund is not repaid, it would result in ten years of higher taxes on employers.
"Democrats told businesses that they could delay their payments and that the real deadline was April 30. We are days away from that deadline and there has been no interest in doing the right thing and getting this passed. The money is there, and we need to take action to support our employers as they deal with an already challenging economy,” Johnson said.