Washington Retail and several other state associations have written to state legislative leaders to tap available federal funds to replenish the state’s unemployment insurance trust fund.
The coalition has asked the Legislature to use a portion of $2.9 billion paid to the state from the federal CARES Act to replenish the fund, which is solely funded by employers. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Employment Security has been making unprecedented unemployment payments to laid off employees that has depleted the trust fund. Without replenishing it, the letter states: “Employers will face a triple-digit unemployment insurance rate increase in January.”
A significant increase in UI insurance rates would threaten many businesses already struggling to survive the pandemic due to government ordered shutdowns earlier this year.
Such a fund transfer, the letter states, will ensure that unemployment benefits can continue to flow to qualified applicants. Read the letter here.