The Jobs and Economic Growth Finance and Policy Committee heard an update this week from the Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) regarding the Unemployment Insurance (UI) Trust Fund. DEED presented on the health of the fund and what they are doing to ensure fraudulent claims are being denied.
Because of the pandemic, the UI Trust Fund is in a deficit. When the health of the trust fund is depleted certain tax increases are automatically triggered. To avoid businesses paying these taxes, Governor Walz has proposed appropriating $2.73 billion to restore the health of the fund. Democrats support this proposal but want to also see paychecks for frontline workers distributed as soon as possible. Those checks were agreed to last session but there has been disagreement regarding the size of the checks and who should qualify for the payments. Democrats have proposed a more expansive paycheck bill that includes more frontline workers as well as a larger pool of money in comparison to Senate Republicans.