Sunday, December 12, 2021

"The activity in the state’s unemployment insurance trust fund during COVID was historic"

"THE BAKER ADMINISTRATION on Friday gave lawmakers its most detailed accounting yet of the state’s unemployment insurance trust fund, and said it is preparing to issue bonds to put the fund on sound financial footing.

“We will have to bond. There is no doubt,” said Rosalin Acosta, the secretary of labor and workforce development, in a presentation to the Senate Post Audit and Oversight Committee.

Acosta didn’t provide a full accounting of the fund — she promised that by the end of the month — but she did provide more information than she has in months. The Baker administration stopped issuing a monthly report on the unemployment insurance trust fund’s financial status in June and pushed the Legislature to use $1 billion in federal American Rescue Plan Act funds to bolster the fund’s finances.

The Legislature in the spring also gave the governor the authority to issue up to $7 billion in bonds to deal with any shortfall in the fund. At the time, the expectation was that the fund was deep in the red and the assumption was that bond proceeds would make the fund whole while lessening the financial blow on businesses. Instead of having to pay off any fund deficit immediately, the bonds would allow businesses to pay the deficit off over the multi-decade life of the bonds."
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