Governor Jay Nixon vetoed HB 150 today. The release:
May 5, 2015
Causing further harm to workers who have been laid off by taking away insurance benefits they’ve earned will not grow our economy, Governor says
Gov. Jay Nixon today vetoed House Bill 150, which would have reduced the maximum duration of unemployment insurance benefits from 20 weeks to 13 weeks for Missourians who find themselves unemployed through no fault of their own. House Bill No. 150 would also reduce unemployment insurance benefits for those Missourians who upon losing their job receive some severance pay. The Governor’s veto of similar legislation last year was sustained.
“Unemployment insurance benefits provide a bridge for hardworking Missourians looking for another job, while strengthening local economies at the same time,” Gov. Nixon said. “Supporters of this bill have forgotten that workers earn these insurance benefits by working, and that tough economic times often last longer than a mere 13 weeks.”
The unemployment insurance system, jointly administered by the federal and state governments, serves as a bridge to future employment for those who are out of work due to circumstances beyond their control.
Missouri’s average weekly unemployment insurance benefit of $243.63 ranks 43rd out of all 50 states. Missouri’s current cap of 20 weeks of assistance places Missouri among eight states that pay less than the national norm of 26 weeks, while only about one third of Missourians who apply for unemployment insurance benefits actually receive them.
“There is no sound fiscal argument for this bill. In fact, Missouri’s unemployment insurance trust fund remains, and is projected to remain, financially sound,” Gov. Nixon said. “Therefore, the changes sought by House Bill 150 are not needed, and their impact on both individuals and our economy are unfair and ill-advised.”
“The Missouri AFL-CIO applauds Governor Nixon on his veto of HB 150, a dangerous bill that would take away unemployment benefits at a time when they are most needed by Missouri’s working families,” said Mike Louis, President of the Missouri AFL-CIO. “At a time when running out of unemployment insurance could mean running out of clothing for a family, running out of money to make the car payment or house payment or not even being able to put food on the table is not a time when Missouri legislators should turn their backs. Thank you, Governor Nixon, for standing for Missouri’s working families.”
“Taking away the insurance benefits Missouri workers have earned in the workforce is just wrong,” said Jeff Aboussie, executive secretary-treasurer at the St. Louis Building and Construction Trades Council. “Pulling the rug out from working people is no way to strengthen our economy. The men and women of the St. Louis building and construction trades are proud to stand with Governor Nixon in opposing this legislation.”
“This bill is bad for workers and it’s bad for our economy,” said UAW Region 5 Director Gary Jones. “On behalf of autoworkers across Missouri, I thank Governor Nixon for once again standing up for the hardworking men and women of our state and vetoing this harmful and unnecessary bill.”
[emphasis in original]
Yes, they still are.
Gov. Jay Nixon’s Veto of SB 24: “Mean People Suck” (April 30, 2015)