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House Bill 115 — Unemployment benefits, weeks, rate

House Bill 115 — Unemployment benefits, weeks, rate

Parrish Miller
February 13, 2023

Bill Description: House Bill 115 would tie the time limit for receiving unemployment benefits to the state’s unemployment rate. The time limit would range from 12 weeks to 20 weeks, with the longer limit applying when the unemployment rate is at its highest. 

Rating: +1

Does it directly or indirectly create or increase any taxes, fees, or other assessments? Conversely, does it eliminate or reduce any taxes, fees, or other assessments?

Idaho law allows unemployed individuals to receive unemployment benefits for up to 20 weeks, regardless of the state's unemployment rate.

House Bill 115 would amend Section 72-1367, Idaho Code, to restructure this period to a range of 12 weeks to 20 weeks, based on the state's unemployment rate. Under this change, 12 weeks would be the standard when the average unemployment rate is 5% or less. It would reach 20 weeks when the rate is above 8.5%. 

The average unemployment rate means “the average seasonally adjusted unemployment rate reported by the United States department of labor for the state of Idaho for the third quarter of the most recently completed calendar year.”

The Fiscal Note for House Bill 115 says this change would add an estimated $252 million to Idaho's unemployment trust fund while also reducing unemployment insurance taxes by approximately 9%. 

Reducing the length of time unemployment benefits are available would also encourage those receiving them to reenter the workforce more quickly. 


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