- Report Published -
|The Funding Requirements of the Virginia Unemployment Compensation Act|
|SJR 272 (Regular Session, 1995)|
|Adopted by the 1995 Session of the General Assembly, Senate Joint Resolution No. 272 (Appendix A) continued the Joint Subcommittee Studying the Funding Requirements of the Virginia Unemployment Compensation Act ("the Act"). The joint subcommittee continued a tradition of the Virginia Employment Commission (VEC) briefing members on the unemployment insurance trust fund's current and projected adequacy. In addition, the subcommittee has often reviewed and recommended major revisions to the Act, as proposed from time to time by the VEC and business and labor representatives, particularly with regard to benefit levels.|
The following General Assembly members were appointed to the joint subcommittee: Senators Schewel from Lynchburg, Benedetti from Richmond, Chichester from Fredericksburg, R.J. Holland from Windsor, and Reasor from Bluefield, together with Delegates Croshaw from Virginia Beach, D.C. Jones from Richmond, J.C. Jones from Norfolk, Nelms from Suffolk, and Newman from Lynchburg. Senator Schewel served as Chairman.
The joint subcommittee met in Richmond on December 1, 1995, to receive the VEC's trust fund briefing, presented by Commissioner Kenneth A. Bolles. The panel also considered a proposal to revise the unemployment benefit tables, as recommended by a coalition of industry organizations.
With September's unemployment rate at 4.5 percent, the subcommittee learned that the Commonwealth's rate was at its lowest level in five years. In terms of trust fund solvency, the panel was advised that as of June 30, 1995, the fund was at nearly 80 percent of solvency. A reduction in total benefit payments and in extended benefit payments from 1994 to 1995 (no extended benefits were tapped in 1995) further reflected the general overall health of the state and national economies in 1995.
Noting the economy's relative strength, a coalition of employer associations presented the joint subcommittee with a proposal to increase the minimum and maximum unemployment benefit levels. After reviewing the VEC's analysis of the impact of the proposal, the panel recommended that legislation be presented to the 1996 Session of the General Assembly to increase the minimum weekly benefit amount (WBA) from $65 to $70 per week and to increase the maximum WBA from $208 to $224.