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Payroll Tax Cut Extension Bill Includes ASA-Supported Unemployment Insurance Reforms

The payroll tax cut extension signed into law earlier this week also contains some significant unemployment insurance reforms, which were strongly supported by ASA. Language in the new law overturns a U.S. Department of Labor ban on states’ screening and testing UI applicants for illegal drugs. States have also been given unprecedented flexibility in how they can use UI benefit funds for promoting pro-work reforms, and—for the first time ever—national job search requirements have been established for everyone collecting state and federal UI benefits.

The new law also lowers the maximum number of weeks of UI benefits allowed based on a state’s unemployment rate (see this chart).

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