The Business Council has made an overhaul of the state's unemployment insurance system a top priority in the current legislative session, said Chris Pugliese, manager of government and political affairs at The Business Council.
Unemployment insurance taxes rise or fall depending on the size of the trust fund. Last fall, The Business Council and other groups convinced employers across the state to prepay $171 million in UI taxes for the first quarter of 1998.
This pushed the value of the state's UI fund above $930 million, automatically triggering a decrease in all employers' tax rates for 1998.
The Business Council is urging lawmakers to lower the dollar amount at which the fund will trigger higher tax rates.
Pugliese said this priority will be part of a broader discussion - because a complete overhaul and reform of the state's unemployment insurance system is a top legislative priority of The Business Council this year.
A key goal of the reform is to create unemployment insurance tax rates that are equitable to as many employers as possible.
The current tax rates effectively penalize companies with stable employment records while putting a relatively small tax burden on others in industries with more frequent layoffs.