(March 27, 2012, NASHVILLE) – Lt. Governor Ron Ramsey today praised the unanimous passage of the Unemployment Insurance Accountability Act of 2012 (Senate Bill 3658) through the Senate Commerce, Labor and Agriculture Committee.
“The people of Tennessee have clearly defined expectations of their government leaders,” said Lt. Governor Ramsey. “They want less spending, smaller government and, most importantly, jobs. By taking burdens off employers and facilitating the job search for the unemployed, this bill will further encourage the pro-jobs, pro-business climate we have long nurtured in Tennessee. This reform will inject accountability into our unemployment system and establish a new fairness benefiting both job seekers and job creators.”
Senate Bill 3658 addresses many of the complaints Lt. Governor Ramsey received during his Red Tape Road Trips last summer. The road trips took Ramsey across the state meeting with business owners about how to eliminate red tape from government and make Tennessee the best state in which to own and operate a business. The bill is sponsored by Sen. Jack Johnson (R-Franklin).
“Our state unemployment system was always intended as a bridge from one job to the next for people out of work through no fault of their own,” Sen. Johnson explained. “By strengthening the work search requirement and the definition of misconduct, we are restoring the intent of the system and making the lives of our small business owners easier. It’s a win for both job seekers and job creators.”
The Unemployment Insurance Accountability Act of 2012 strengthens the definition of employee misconduct to ensure that those who have been fired for cause no longer receive benefits. The act also enacts new work search requirements for unemployment beneficiaries. Those collecting unemployment benefits must provide detailed information regarding contact with at least three employers per week or must access services at a career center. The act also provides for random audits to ensure the integrity of beneficiaries’ job searches.