Legislature(1995 - 1996)

04/18/1996 08:08 AM STA

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
txt
 CHAIR JAMES called on Dwight Perkins, Department of Labor, to                 
 explain his concerns regarding CSHB 483(L&C) (9-GH2027/C).                    
                                                                               
 Number 0723                                                                   
                                                                               
 DWIGHT PERKINS, Special Assistant, Office of the Commissioner,                
 Department of Labor, asked the committee members to waive CSHB
 483(L&C) (9-GH2027/C) from the House State Affairs Committee once             
 it was assigned to it.  He explained it increased the weekly                  
 benefit amount for unemployment insurance from the maximum of $212            
 to $248.  The weekly benefit amount had not increased since 1990.             
 He referred the committee members to a handout titled "Employer and           
 Employee Contributions under the Proposal to Cap WBA at $248 in               
 1997, Change the Employer/Employee Tax Share to 80/20, and Round              
 the Employee Tax to the nearest 100th %."  He explained currently             
 the employer paid 82 percent of the cost while the employee paid 18           
 percent.  The proposal in CSHB 483(L&C) reduced the employer                  
 contribution and increased the employee contribution.  This created           
 a net savings of $15 per employee per year to the employer.  The              
 additional cost to the employee was $20 per year.  He further                 
 explained the fiscal note was not seeking an additional                       
 appropriation.  The amounts shown were additional charges against             
 the payroll which would occur quarterly as claims were filed.  It             
 did not affect the general fund.                                              
                                                                               
 Number 0998                                                                   
                                                                               
 CHAIR JAMES responded that she was aghast that the employee paid so           
 little for unemployment insurance.  She called it a token.  Yet,              
 individuals felt that they were entitled to it because they paid              
 for it.  She had no problem reducing the contributions from the               
 employers and increasing the contributions from the employees.                
                                                                               
 Number 1056                                                                   
                                                                               
 MR. PERKINS replied Alaska was only one of four states that did pay           
 in the nation.                                                                
                                                                               
 Number 1093                                                                   
                                                                               
 REPRESENTATIVE PORTER stated the House Labor and Commerce Committee           
 and the Department of Labor worked closely together on this bill.             
 He voted in favor of the bill.                                                
                                                                               
 Number 1122                                                                   
                                                                               
 CHAIR JAMES asked the committee members if there was any objection            
 to waiving the bill from the House State Affairs Committee once it            
 was assigned to it?  There was no objection.                                  

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