Home > Uncategorized > Public Testimony on Unemployment Funding Wraps Up at Statehouse

Public Testimony on Unemployment Funding Wraps Up at Statehouse

As the Indiana Senate prepares to wrestle with the state’s bankrupt unemployment trust fund, members of the Pensions and Labor and Tax and Fiscal Policy Committees have completed two days of joint hearings. Tuesday’s session was dominated by employers, but lawmakers spent Wednesday listening to unemployed workers from Fayette County, who simply asked lawmakers to come up with a fix as soon as possible without a reduction in benefits. Kevin Luke was an employee at Visteon Corporation. He says there is no more manufacturing work to be found in Fayette County.

“We paid in to unemployment all those years. I have only drawn two months. Where’s my money at? We should have been saving that money. It should have been building up somewhere. All that money is gone now. I’m about ready to lose my unemployment, and if I lose my unemployment, my house is gone. I’ve got my house payments up. I’ve worked hard and I want to keep it.”

In other testimony, Indiana Department of Workforce Development Commissioner Teresa Voors says the state is in line to receive funding through the federal stimulus package, but the money would come with several mandates, including a change in the benefits structure. Governor Daniels has said he will not accept some of those funds because of the long term increases in benefit payments that would result. Pensions and Labor Committee Chairman Dennis Kruse says a comprehensive proposal will be unveiled in about two weeks at a meeting of the Senate Tax and Fiscal Policy Committee. Kruse has indicated the proposal could include both higher payroll taxes and reduced benefits.

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