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Brewer backs unemployment insurance rate freeze

February 15, 2011
Pleased that many of his colleagues share a common interest in providing economic relief for small businesses and creating new jobs, Sen. Stephen Brewer, D-Barre, recently announced that the Senate passed legislation that will freeze the unemployment insurance rate.

The bill will now go before the House of Representatives for consideration. If it does not pass, the unemployment insurance rate would likely increase by more than $228 per employee, with the average employer seeing a per-employee payment jump from $644 to $872. The Senate bill to freeze the unemployment insurance rate would hold steady the current rate schedule for unemployment insurance assessments on employers for the calendar year 2011.

This is not an uncommon strategy for Massachusetts legislators. In previous recessions the state has elected to freeze the assessment schedule to relieve the burden on small businesses in challenging economic times.

"Freezing the unemployment insurance rate provides certainty to Massachusetts businesses as our state begins its recovery from the recession," said Brewer, who serves as the chairman of the Senate Committee on Ways and Means. "Failure to act will result in our mom and pop businesses facing substantial increases in their unemployment costs, which will only make it harder for these companies to expand and grow our economy."

For more on this story, please see tomorrow's Southbridge Evening News.

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