Legislature(1993 - 1994)

1993-03-12 Senate Journal

Full Journal pdf

1993-03-12                     Senate Journal                      Page 0772
SB 162                                                                       
SENATE BILL NO. 162 by the Senate Rules Committee by request                   
of the Governor, entitled:                                                     
"An Act relating to the implementation of the                                 
federal emergency unemployment compensation                                    
program; making changes relating to unemployment                               
compensation under the extended benefits program                               
and the supplemental state benefits program; and                               
providing for an effective date."                                              
was read the first time and referred to the Labor and Commerce and             
Finance Committees.                                                            
Zero fiscal note published today from Department of Labor.                     
Governor's transmittal letter dated March 12:                                  
Dear Mr. President:                                                            
Under the authority of art. III, sec. 18, of the Alaska Constitution,          
I am transmitting a bill that will improve the financing of the state's        
unemployment compensation program and will enable the state to                 
continue its participation in the federal emergency unemployment               
compensation program.                                                          
Section 1 authorizes the implementation of the federal emergency               
unemployment compensation program in this state as required under              
AS23.20.080(b) for continued state participation in this program,              
and specifies that the eligibility standards for the emergency program         
are the same as for the existing unemployment compensation                     
extended benefits program (AS23.20.406).                                       
Section 2 provides that an unemployed individual who cannot qualify            
for emergency unemployment benefits because of the earnings                    
requirements of AS23.20.406(l) will be able to receive supplemental            
state unemployment benefits during a period in which emergency                 
unemployment compensation benefits are being provided in this state            
and under the same conditions as those established for emergency               

1993-03-12                     Senate Journal                      Page 0773
SB 162                                                                       
Section 3 establishes an alternative method that will allow an                 
unemployment benefits claimant to qualify for extended benefits by             
incorporating an earnings test that was added as an option in the              
1992 version of the federal Emergency Unemployment Compensation                
Act (P.L. 102-318).  This optional method will benefit approximately           
500 Alaskan claimants and will result in unemployment trust fund               
savings annually of approximately $150,000 during periods of                   
extended benefits.  The October3, 1993 effective date for sec. 3               
coincides with the end of the emergency unemployment                           
compensation program.  See sec. 13 of the bill.                                
Section 4 outlines a second level of benefits that are available during        
a "high unemployment period."  Under this provision, Alaskans will             
be eligible for extended or emergency benefits for a longer period             
of time when the total unemployment rate equals or exceeds eight               
Section 5 adds an additional optional "trigger" to allow the state to          
provide extended unemployment benefits.  Under this provision, the             
state may qualify under more than one set of requirements for the              
extended unemployment benefit program.                                         
Section 6 eliminates the calculations that have been used to                   
determine the "off" indicator and indicates that the "off" trigger             
occurs whenever the conditions indicating an "on" trigger are not              
applicable.  This section also adds a provision that will allow the            
state to trigger "off" extended benefits in order to pay emergency             
unemployment compensation.                                                     
Section 7 sets out the conditions under which the state will be                
considered to be in a "high unemployment period," thereby indicating           
that a longer duration of unemployment payments may be made to                 
qualified individuals.                                                         
Section 8 temporarily suspends the more stringent work search and              
eligibility requirements that have been required under the federal             
extended benefit program so that Alaska law will conform with new              
federal requirements.  As a result, from March 7, 1993 through                 
December 31, 1994, the same requirements that currently apply to               
regular unemployment benefits will be applicable to extended                   
benefits or emergency benefits.                                                

1993-03-12                     Senate Journal                      Page 0774
SB 162                                                                       
Sections 9 - 14 are sections that provide that the suspension of               
certain eligibility requirements will be effective retroactively to            
March 7, 1993 and that the additional provisions of the bill become            
effective on July 1, 1993, or October 3, 1993, to allow for an                 
organized transition by the department.  Sections 9 and 14 repeal the          
temporary suspension of eligibility requirements on January 1, 1995,           
consistent with the federal law.                                               
      Walter J. Hickel