Closures lead to layoffs, Senate Finance bills aim to reduce impact

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  • Recent closures of major companies in West Virginia have resulted in hundreds of job losses.
  • The Senate Finance Committee is considering bills that would limit unemployment benefits in the state.

Just after major closures have led to hundreds of layoffs in West Virginia, the Senate Finance Committee is moving forward with bills that would significantly restrict unemployment benefits in the state. The bills aim to shore up the state’s unemployment trust fund, which could be depleted in 91 weeks if the unemployment rate remains high. Senate Bill 840 proposes changes such as using the state’s unemployment rate to determine benefit eligibility, while Senate Bill 841 focuses on unemployment taxes and benefits. Organized labor leaders have spoken out against the bills, calling them “heartless” and urging members to reach out to lawmakers to reject them. Despite concerns raised during the committee meeting, such as the impact of recent closures on the trust fund and the potential effects on higher-wage earners, the bills are moving to the full Senate for consideration.

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