State lawmakers are one step away from passing a bill that make the unemployed work a little harder for their insurance.
With no debate, the Senate voted 38-7 on Wednesday to agree with the House on minor changes to Senate Bill 15, which makes a range of alterations to the Division of Employment Security.
The provision that has drawn the most debate requires those receiving unemployment benefits to contact five employers each week instead of two.
Critics in the House said the increased requirement would be an added burden to those who might not have access to resources to complete all their applications each week, and it would bog down employers with too many applications to sort through. The House passed SB 15 last week with a final vote of 82-28.
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Bill supporters have said that another provision to suspend a fee that funds a reserve fund for unemployment once it reaches $1 billion would save employers and their workers $240 million on unemployment insurance.
The Senate must vote on a third final reading before sending the bill to the governor.
Knopf: 919-829-8955, @tayknopf