HB 137-FN – AS INTRODUCED
HOUSE BILL 137-FN
This bill deletes the requirement that an individual seek full-time employment to qualify for unemployment compensation benefits.
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Explanation: Matter added to current law appears in bold italics.
Matter removed from current law appears [
in brackets and struckthrough.]
Matter which is either (a) all new or (b) repealed and reenacted appears in regular type.
STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE
In the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand Five
AN ACT relative to unemployment benefit eligibility.
Be it Enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court convened:
1 Unemployment Benefit Eligibility. Amend RSA 282-A:31, I(d) to read as follows:
(d) He or she is available for and seeking permanent[
, full-time] work for which he or she is qualified.
2 Effective Date. This act shall take effect January 1, 2006.
HB 137-FN - FISCAL NOTE
AN ACT relative to unemployment benefit eligibility.
The Department of Employment Security has determined this bill will increase state expenditures by $549,322 in FY 2006, $963,400 in FY 2007, $993,650 in FY 2008, and $1,025,413 in FY 2009, increase state revenue by $378,745 in FY 2006, $622,247 in FY 2007, $652,497 in FY 2008, and $684,260 in FY 2009, increase county expenditures by $35,119 in FY 2006 and $70,237 in FY 2007 and each year thereafter and increase local expenditures by $421,425 in FY 2006 and $842,849 in FY 2007 and each year thereafter. There will be no fiscal impact on county and local revenues.
The Department states the first cost associated with this bill is the cost to the state, counties, and municipalities to reimburse the Unemployment Trust Fund for unemployment compensation benefits paid to laid-off government workers. Pursuant to the provisions of RSA 282-A:70 and 71, governmental agencies reimburse the fund for benefits paid dollar for dollar in lieu of payment of tax contributions to the fund. The Department estimates 100,500 part time workers will be eligible to participate in the program, and estimates the average weekly benefit amount will be $120. With the current unemployment rate of 1.6%, the Department estimates the total annual additional payout from the fund due to part time workers will be $10,033,920 ($100,500 x 0.016 x $120 x 52). The Department estimates the annual cost to the state for additional Unemployment Trust Fund reimbursement will be $341,153 in general funds since the state employs 3.4% of the total covered employment statewide ($10,033,920 x 0.034). The Department estimates the annual cost to counties for additional fund reimbursement will be $70,237 since counties employ 0.7% of the total covered employment statewide ($10,033,920 x 0.007). The Department estimates the annual cost to municipalities for additional fund reimbursement will be $842,849 since municipalities employ 8.4% of the total covered employment statewide ($10,033,920 x 0.084).The Department estimates the cost in FY 2006 for additional fund reimbursement will be $170,577 for the state, $35,119 counties, and $421,425 for municipalities since the effective date is January 1, 2006.
The Department states the second cost associated with this bill is for additional personnel to process claims for part time workers and render eligibility decisions. The Department estimates they will need to hire an additional 10 Interviewers/Claimstakers at labor grade 16 and 5 Adjudicators at labor grade 20. The Department estimates the cost to employ the additional personnel in FY 2006 will be $378,745, including salary, benefits (44%), $75,000 for equipment, and $8,625 for office expenses. The Department estimates the cost to employ the additional personnel will be $622,247 in FY 2007, $652,497 in FY 2008, and $684,260 for FY 2009, including salary step increases, benefits (44%), and $17,250 for office expenses. The Department of Employment Security is a federally funded state agency, and these personnel costs would be paid by the federal government.
FY 2006 FY 2007 FY 2008 FY 2009
Salary $295,120 $604,997 $635,247 $ 667,010
Equipment 75,000 0 0 0
Office Space 8,625 17,250 17,250 17,250
Subtotal – Personnel
(offset by Federal revenue) $378,745 $622,247 $652,497 $ 684,260
(general fund expense) 170,577 341,153 341,153 341,153
Grand Total $549,322 $963,400 $993,650 $1,025,413
Fund Reimbursement $35,119 $ 70,237 $ 70,237 $ 70,237
Fund Reimbursement $421,425 $842,849 $842,849 $ 842,849
The Department of Employment Security states allowing benefits to workers who are not required to accept full time work further raises the risk that the average number of weeks of unemployment will increase proportionate to the number of eligible unemployment compensation recipients who are content to work part time and receive benefits rather than seek full time employment, which may increase costs to state, county, and municipal governments. The Department further states private sector contributing employers’ tax rate is directly affected by the balance of monies in reserve in the Unemployment Trust Fund. Payment of fund dollars to pay benefits to part time employee claimants could result in additional tax costs to New Hampshire employers.