More Support for Businesses and Workers via the State Legislature

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A piece of the state’s COVID-19 recovery plan has passed with bipartisan support in both chambers and was signed by the Governor on Monday.

On Monday, Gov. Jay Inslee signed legislation, otherwise known as SB 5061, providing relief for businesses and workers impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The bill will increase minimum unemployment benefits for workers and provide significant tax relief for businesses over the next five years, to support recovery from the economic impacts of COVID shutdowns.

SB 5061 relieves employers of individual benefit charges for claims that occurred during the governor’s “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” (March 22 – May 30, 2020), and caps certain tax rates through 2025. Together, these actions prevent a $1.7 billion spike in unemployment taxes over the next five years, including just over $920 million in rate increases this year.

The legislation also addresses the hardship being faced by workers, putting more money into the pockets of those experiencing unemployment by increasing the minimum benefit starting July 1.

Additionally, SB 5061 makes policy updates to ensure that Washington’s unemployment insurance system is more nimble and responsive during public health emergencies. This includes eligibility for individuals at high risk for severe illness and their family members.

Businesses and individuals won’t have to go through any additional processes in order to receive the deductions or increased benefits.

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