Miss. lawmakers seek to rescue work training funds

Published 1:39 pm Thursday, January 7, 2010

Mississippi legislators have made a change in the state’s unemployment trust fund so community colleges can continue receiving millions of dollars for work force training.

Leaders say the change also prevents a potential increase in the unemployment tax paid by businesses.

The Senate and House voted Tuesday to adjust the balance needed in the fund before some of the money from it can be routed to the colleges to train workers.

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The fund balance dropped below the required $500 million in November. Lawmakers voted Tuesday to set the new minimum balance at $366 million.

Officials said if the balance requirement had stayed at $500 million, employers might’ve faced higher taxes to build up the fund.

The 15 colleges collectively receive about $22 million for worker training.

The bill is Senate Bill 2027.