The Massachusetts House of Representatives approved an Unemployment Insurance rate freeze Wednesday that would roll back a $500 million increase on employers that took effect January 1.
The freeze was part of a supplemental budget passed by the House and sent to the Senate. Governor Deval Patrick, House Speaker Robert DeLeo and Senate President Therese Murray have all expressed support for freezing UI contributions at the current Schedule E.
The Legislature and governor have saved Massachusetts employers $1.7 billion by freezing UI rates in each of the last four years. A freeze for 2013 would still leave the fund used to pay benefits to unemployed people with a balance of $600 million at the end of the year.
John Regan, Executive Vice President of Government Affairs for Associated Industries of Massachusetts, said a freeze would remove a considerable burden for employers at a time when the national economy has begun to contract.
“AIM has been at the forefront of efforts to ease the burden of unemployment insurance taxes on the Massachusetts job market, so we are gratified by the House action,” Regan said.
He stressed that AIM also supports comprehensive reform to ensure the long-term financial stability of the unemployment insurance system.