By Jacqueline Pitts
FRANKFORT — On Monday, the Senate Economic Development, Tourism, and Labor Committee passed bills dealing with unemployment rates for employers and safety standards.
House Bill 413, sponsored by Rep. Russell Webber, suspends taxable wage base and holds the 2020 tax schedule for 2021 and 2022 when it comes to unemployment insurance as employers face a huge increase in the face of high unemployment rates as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The legislation also requires all benefits paid due to a declared emergency come from a pooled account and not individual employers reserve accounts.
Webber stressed the importance of helping Kentucky’s employers during this trying time because if businesses have to close their doors, there will not be jobs for Kentuckians.
“These are our friends and neighbors and the people who employ our friends and neighbors,” Webber said. “There is a real domino effect if we don’t take action on this.”
Legislation streamlining Kentucky’s OSHA-related regulations to help avoid patchwork regulations and avoid mistakes also passed through the committee.
House Bill 475, sponsored by Rep. Walker Thomas, would bring Kentucky in line with most other states to ensure that our OSHA-related regulations are no more stringent than those set by the Federal government.
Currently, most states rely on federal OSHA programs and therefore follow federal regulations.
Both bills now move to the Senate floor for a vote.
The Bottom Line is the official news site of the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce