Senator Michael Moore (D-Millbury) has joined several of his colleagues in writing a letter to Governor Baker in an attempt to gain clarity on the Commonwealth’s unemployment insurance trust fund.
“The lack of transparency being offered by the Baker Administration regarding the trust fund deficit has been disappointing, to say the least,” remarked Senator Moore. “Having this information is crucial in allowing us to take steps in replenish the fund, and more importantly, it is much needed by employers so that they can determine what financial commitments they may have to make. The fact that we have not seen the numbers since June is unacceptable, and I hope that this data will now be provided to us and the public in a timely manner.”
This request for clarity stems from the lack of communication from the Baker Administration regarding the balance of the trust fund. The Administration had been providing monthly financial reports on the account, but has not provided one since June, when the balance was $1.77 billion in the red.
Due to the lack of transparency and with minimal information being made available, it has been difficult for policy makers to determine the necessary steps they may need to replenish the funds.
This has subsequently created a great deal of uncertainty among small businesses throughout the Commonwealth, as the lack of information has left them unsure as to payments they may be required to make, as initially advised by the Department of Unemployment Assistance (DUA).
Additionally, there is a great deal of speculation that a portion of the current UI trust fund deficit can be attributed to fraud and overpayments. There could be as much as $1.6 billion in UI overpayments in the Commonwealth, according to research conducted by the National Conference of State Legislatures and the U.S. Department of Labor.
Senator Moore and his colleagues, have requested that a financial report be made available as soon as possible so that proper measures may be taken by the legislature. This would also provide necessary information to small businesses owners throughout the state.
In sending this letter, Senator Moore was joined by Senator Diana DiZoglio, Senator Ryan Fattman, Senator James Eldridge, Representative David Allen Robertson, Representative Lenny Mirra, Representative Vanna Howard and Representative Patrick J. Kearney.