Thursday, February 13, 2014

House Passes Supplementary Budget, Freezes Unemployment Insurance Rate

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                    
February 13, 2014                              

Legislation Highlights Commitment to Providing for Neediest Citizens
while Aiding Businesses and Municipalities

(BOSTON) – State Representative Thomas Golden joined his colleagues in the Massachusetts House of Representatives to pass legislation that protects employers from paying an approximate 30% increase per employee in unemployment insurance (UI) rates. 

This business-friendly measure simultaneously supports the average employer and allows their employees to receive the same benefits under this lower rate. In the coming weeks, the House plans to make systematic improvements to the UI system and tackle minimum wage in a combined bill.

The bill also includes such timely measures as $20 million for low-income heating assistance, as well as $45 million to provide low-income homeless families with access to housing. Further, it allows the Department of Transportation to spend up to $50 million as needed to remove snow and ice for the rest of the winter.
The bill also provides $2.78 million to the Department of Children and Families (DCF) to hire 150 additional social workers.

“Last month I stood before the Chamber and vowed to protect the Commonwealth’s children and pledged to build on Massachusetts’ economic success,” said House Speaker Robert A. DeLeo (D-Winthrop). “Just a month later we are making these gains. While the House conducts a comprehensive review of DCF, I’m proud that we could provide immediate funds to address caseload issues.”

Finally, the bill includes a $15 million recapitalization of the Brownfield’s redevelopment fund to allow clean-up and redevelopment projects to move forward, as well as $4.8 million for the Safe and Successful Youth Initiative.

State Rep. Thomas Golden said, “I am very excited about these initiatives, especially with our commitment to supplying low-income heating assistance, redeveloping our brownfields sites, and keeping our youth safe.”

This bill passed the House 146 to 2 and now moves on to the Senate.

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