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State Begins Dealing With Massive Unemployment Debt

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(Sacramento, CA)
Monday, August 05, 2013

The state’s been borrowing since 2009. For the last two years it’s had to pay interest on the loan- this year, more than $260 million.

Loree Levy is with California’s Employment Development Department. She says now that the state is doing better financially, it’s beginning to think about paying the money back.

“What can you do to address the situation? Well on one side of the equation you can bring in more money from employers. On the other side of the equation you could maybe pay less in benefit amounts or tighten up eligibility for those benefits,” she said.

Governor Jerry Brown’s administration is working with business and labor groups on a legislative fix that could be voted on in the next few weeks.

Employers are now paying an additional federal tax as a condition of the state’s loan. California has not increased the amount it requires employers to contribute since 1984, though benefits have gone up. 

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