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SC House Propels Unemployment Benefits Reform: New Bill Aims to Revolutionize Current System and Stimulate Economic Growth

"Unemployment Benefits Reform Compass"

Reforming South Carolina’s Unemployment Benefits: SC House Advances Bill to Revolutionize Current System

Charleston County, S.C. – A New Bill to Revamp State’s Unemployment Insurance Benefits

House Bill 4710, an innovative legislative effort aimed at revamping South Carolina’s unemployment insurance benefits, has advanced in the SC House. The prime thrust of this bill is to adjust the allocation of maximum benefits based on the state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate.

The recently passed bill received an overwhelming response with a vote of 113-1 in the House. With more than 161,000 jobs available across various sectors in South Carolina, and a workforce participation rate of 57%, the bill is expected to foster significant changes in the state’s job market.

Motivating More South Carolinians to Join the Workforce

Rep. Micah Caskey (R-Lexington), welcoming the bill’s passage, observed, “This initiative is a strategic move to encourage more South Carolinians to join the workforce and take advantage of the abundant employment opportunities our state offers.”

Current South Carolina unemployment law allows for a claim to last for one year from the claim date, with the maximum support being 20 weeks. With the introduction of H.4710, each claim will correspond to a adjusted reference point set to either January or July.

Adjusting Benefit Duration to Unemployment Rates

As part of the proposed changes, the maximum duration for receiving benefits will be tied directly to statewide rates of unemployment during the claimant’s reference period. The following structure details how the number of weeks of benefit will be determined:

  • Up to 5.5% unemployment: 12 weeks’ of benefit
  • 5.5% – 6%: 13 weeks
  • 6% – 6.5%: 14 weeks
  • 6.5% – 7%: 15 weeks
  • 7% – 7.5%: 16 weeks
  • 7.5% – 8%: 17 weeks
  • 8% – 8.5%: 18 weeks
  • 8.5% – 9%: 19 weeks
  • More than 9%: 20 weeks

Supporting Economic Growth and Stability

The House Republicans firmly believe that this restructured unemployment system will stimulate economic growth within South Carolina. House Assistant Majority Leader Jay West (R-Abbeville, Anderson & Greenville), the author and primary sponsor of the bill, remarked, “By enacting H.4710, we’re not just reforming unemployment benefits; we’re also taking a decisive step to support our small businesses— the very backbone of South Carolina’s economy.

Aiding Small Businesses and Fuelling Innovation

The bill is also aimed at decreasing unemployment tax rates for small businesses, which the South Carolina House GOP Caucus asserts will lead to an increase in their financial stability. The bill, after its success in the House, will now be reviewed by the South Carolina Senate.

A Conducive Environment for Businesses to Thrive

Small businesses are the lifeblood of our communities, and by reducing their financial burdens, we’re paving the way for more growth, innovation, and job creation,” said House Speaker Murrell Smith (R-Sumter), underscoring the potential impact of the bill. “H.4710 is a testament to our state’s dedication to creating a conducive environment for small businesses to thrive. It’s about ensuring that our policies reflect the realities of our economy and the needs of our workforce.”

As the proposal advances through the legislative process, residents of South Carolina eagerly await the definitive impact on their state’s unemployment benefits program and the broader economic landscape.


HERE Rock Hill
Author: HERE Rock Hill

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