ST. PAUL- With 11 days left until first quarter unemployment insurance (UI) payments are due, Rep. Nels Pierson, R-Rochester, is renewing his call for House Democrats to fulfill their promise and take action to provide relief to Minnesota job creators, and reverse the harmful unemployment insurance tax increase that went into effect last month.
“House Republicans have been working for months to reverse this harmful and unnecessary tax increase ahead of the deadline,” Pierson said. “Now the time is here, and it's important that House Democrats keep their promise and actually pass a bill to fix the tax hike mess they created.”
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 having to borrow $50,000 a day from the federal government. House Speaker Melissa Hortman, DFL-Brooklyn Park, downplayed 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 — it's been 69 days since the bill last received a hearing, and Democrats have excluded UI repayment from their budget targets released this week.
"Democrats told businesses that they could delay their payments and that the real deadline was April 30. Now here we are days away from that deadline and Democrats seem to have no interest in stepping up, 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 inflation, supply chain, and workforce challenges," Pierson concluded.