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Posts Tagged ‘Dennis Kruse’

Senate Names New Education Chair

Republican State Senator Dennis Kruse of Auburn has been named the new chair of the Senate Committee on Education and Career Development. Indiana Public Broadcasting’s Marianne Holland reports.

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House Democrats Present Unemployment Fund Fix

House Democrats have put forth a plan they say will return funds to the now bankrupt accounts that pay benefits to people out of work, while paying back hundreds of millions of dollars of federal borrowing that began in November to pay those benefits. The plan, presented during a conference committee hearing at the Indiana statehouse today, relies on over a billion new business tax dollars annually. It also calls for as much as 390 million dollars in cost cutting measures. Committee chairman David Niezgodski of South Bend says it includes flexible tax rates that rise and fall with the amount of money available to pay unemployment benefits.

“This trigger and index system is an attempt to make sure that Indiana never reaches a deficit like this again.”

Niezgodski and Republican Senator Dennis Kruse of Auburn, two of the lead negotiators on the unemployment insurance insolvency matter, say they believe the legislature can reach an agreement by the end of the session next Wednesday.

Labor Committee Chairs on Unemployment Insurance Crisis

Outside of the budget, the issue that will likely has the most fiscal impact on Hoosiers that the Indiana General Assembly will have to address is the matter of unemployment insurance. The state’s been borrowing money from the federal government to pay unemployment insurance since November. And with Indiana’s number of people out of work now higher than the national average, there’s even more pressure to find a solution fast. This week, Indiana Public Broadcasting’s Marianne Holland spoke with two of the men at the front of the effort, Senate Pensions and Labor Chairman Dennis Kruse of Auburn and House Labor Committee Chairman David Niezgodski of South Bend.

Daniels Says Stimulus Money Could Fund Unemployment Benefits Shortfall

With news this week that Indiana’s unemployment rate has skyrocketed past the national average of seven point one percent to eight point two percent here in Indiana, it’s an issue lawmakers at the statehouse want to make a focus of the legislative session. As those numbers increase, it puts more pressure on the Department of Workforce Development, which has already borrowed two hundred ninety two million dollars from the federal government to pay benefits, after its reserve ran dry in November. It’s widely believed business tax increases will have to be a part of the solution to return money to the unemployment insurance trust fund. But today Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels suggested part of the four to five billion dollars federal stimulus package likely to be approved by Congress in mid-February could be used to help return money to the unemployment benefits fund. Those are welcome words to Senator Dennis Kruse, chairman of the Senate Pensions and Labor Committee, one of two legislative committees working on the unemployment insurance problem.

“I think that would be great if the governor would support that effort to have part of the stimulus money go toward actually paying back the federal government or using it to replenish the fund would be wonderful. I’m excited about it.”

Kruse says the federal plan may also stipulate that states, including Indiana, who have been borrowing federal money to pay unemployment benefits, might get to pay back those loans interest free. To date, that would save the state nearly twenty five million dollars.