House Gives Initial Approval To Unemployment Insurance Rate Freeze

On Beacon Hill Tuesday, a handful of House lawmakers gave initial approval to a bill that would limit a proposed sharp increase in the rates businesses pay for unemployment insurance.

House Speaker Robert DeLeo says he expects the measure will be on the governor's desk by the end of the day Wednesday.

"There was a general agreement that as far as [Wednesday] goes, everyone seems to be on board. I did not hear of any negatives," DeLeo said.

Last week, the Senate voted unanimously to freeze the state's unemployment rate for 2011.

The bill would limit the increase in the unemployment insurance rate to about $60 more per employee. If the governor doesn't sign the bill, the rate increase would be $228 per employee.

Supporters say now is not the time to raise taxes on Bay State businesses. Opponents, including the Massachusetts AFL-CIO, say the move will bankrupt the state's unemployment insurance fund, and will hurt people who are out of work.

This program aired on February 15, 2011. The audio for this program is not available.


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