Advocacy Action Center

Urge Lawmakers to use Federal Aid to Fix UI Trust Fund Crisis
Reacting to concerns voiced by the Massachusetts business community regarding unexpected increases in their UI tax liability, state lawmakers have drafted and are poised to pass legislation designed to address the sizeable spikes in the UI program’s solvency fund assessments. Currently on the Governor’s desk awaiting approval, the legislation proposes shifting pandemic-related unemployment claims, currently charged to the program's solvency fund, into a new COVID fund which will be amortized over a 20-year period through bonding. 

In the short term, the move is intended to provide employers relief from the increased solvency assessments experienced in their first quarter UI bills, however, the burden of paying off the program’s existing $7 billion deficit over the 20-year period will remain squarely on the shoulders of the Commonwealth’s employers.   As these costs are primarily the result of state and federal government decisions to enhance and expand UI benefits and shut down private business operations during the pandemic, it is only fair that government take on a shared responsibility for these costs. 

Our federal and state elected leaders determined eligibility, the emergency benefits (which for most recipients resulted in more income than they earned on the job), and the business restrictions over the past year and a half period.  Therefore, our federal and state leaders should not expect employers to cover the entire $7 billion program deficit for layoffs triggered by their decisions, not those of business owners.    

In an effort to mitigate the impact of this burden being imposed solely on employers, RAM continues to advocate for the state to use some portion of the billions of dollars in recently received federal recovery funds to bolster the UI trust fund.  RAM recommends an investment of at least $1.5 billion.  

RAM members are strongly encouraged to take similar action by contacting their state legislators and the Governor, and requesting that they support the use of federal recovery funds to alleviate this significant tax burden being imposed on employers. 

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