New York State’s Senate Democratic Majority moved forward with legislation that would freeze increases in unemployment insurance taxes across New York State for 2022 and 2023 fiscal year and increase the maximum unemployment benefit for workers who lost their jobs “through no fault of their own.”

This bill (S.6791A) is sponsored by the chair of the Committee on Commerce, Economic Development and Small Business, Senator Anna Kaplan. S.6791A, the 2022 and 2023 fiscal year, statutory employer contribution rates would be determined by a size of index column “headed at 2.5% but less than 3%” respective to negative or positive account percentage “unless the actual size of the index fund column would result in a lower overall rate,” reads the bill.

New York State Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins said that the majority needed to agree on this to help businesses recover from the pandemic and lift up those in need of a boot.

“This pandemic has created many unforeseen fiscal challenges, but this legislation takes action to give businesses across New York State time to get back on their feet, as well as still support workers across New York State who lost their jobs,” stated Stewart-Cousins.

Another part of S.6791A, unemployment maximum insurance would be 40% of the average weekly wage until the first Monday of this October when it increases to 42% per week.

Elected officials hope that this bill will lessen the burden on employers and those unemployed simultaneously.

“The fiscal burdens caused by the COVID-19 pandemic have left lasting economic scars around the nation and in our state,” said New York State Senator Robert Jackson in a statement. “As many working-class constituents struggled, so have many employers. Senator Kaplan’s common-sense legislation will go a long way in supporting the vitality of many of the small business communities in my district. As legislators elected to serve all New Yorkers, we must also help employers in our state’s path to economic recovery.”

Union leaders and businesses were partners in this legislation. Entities that often sat on opposite sides of the table were on the same side here.

Mario Cilento, president of the New York State AFL-CIO, said that COVID-19 has made it even more important to help those in need.

“Far too many New Yorkers continue to struggle financially after losing employment due to the pandemic. That hardship is more challenging given inflation and other cost increases, combined with the fact the federal unemployment relief expired in September of last year…That is why this bill is so critical. It will clear the way for the state’s maximum weekly unemployment benefit to catch-up to the scheduled increase level for 2022, providing much needed relief to unemployed workers trying to figure out how to make ends meet.”

The same reasoning was used to describe why businesses need it as well.

“The Business Council supports this proposal to provide needed relief from increased payroll taxes on New York employers, many of whom continue to deal with ongoing COVID impacts in the workplace,” said Heather C. Briccetti, Esq. president and CEO of The Business Council of New York State. “This is an important first step.”

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