Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels
(Indianapolis, Ind.) – Indiana’s insolvent unemployment insurance trust fund won’t be running in the red in two years with a bill signed into law Thursday by Governor Mitch Daniels.
Daniels office says the signing of House Enrolled Act 1450 also means the state will be able to pay back the $2 billion owed to the federal government to keep the fund alive by 2019.
“It was really urgent that we fix our system, and we did fix it in a balanced way,” said Daniels.
Unemployed Hoosiers and businesses will notice an impact.
The average $283 in weekly benefits to each out-of-work individual will be reduced by about $60.
The state’s businesses will have to pay $723 million towards the fund in 2011, up from $557 million paid in 2010. Without the bill, businesses would have paid $868 million this year.
Businesses will also face a 13 percent surcharge on unemployment taxes and $21 per worker in federal taxes which covers the state’s interest owed to the federal government.
The unemployment fund fix had been one of the 12 pieces of legislation striking House Democrats wanted changed or done away with, although by the time Democrats evacuated to Illinois Tuesday the bill had already reached the Governor’s desk.
Aside from Democrats, the fix had other critics.
"That bill takes from this economy's victims and at the same time gives corporations a humongous tax break," state AFL-CIO President Nancy Guyott said. "We just think that is tone deaf in an economy where working people are hurting."
“We are not backing off of this agenda. We intend to do what it takes to see that the rest of this agenda, which a very large majority of Hoosiers voted for just three months ago, is not killed by the willfulness of the minority that lost the election,” said Daniels.