Sen. Miner Stands with CT Small Business Leaders, Organizations Calling for Lawmakers to Address Unemployment Debt Crisis

April 12, 2022

Today State Sen. Craig Miner (R-Litchfield), ranking member of the Appropriations Committee, joined small business leaders and organizations in calling for policymakers to use federal pandemic relief funds to address the unemployment debt crisis threatening the state’s economic recovery.


Along with Republican legislative leaders, the Connecticut Business and Industry Association, NFIB Connecticut, the Connecticut Restaurant Association, the Connecticut Retail Merchants Association and the Greater New Haven and Quinnipiac Chambers of Commerce, Senator Miner urged the Lamont administration and fellow lawmakers to prevent pending unemployment tax hikes on employers.


“Small businesses in Litchfield County who are job creators have been struggling for over two years. Far too many others could not rebound from mandated shutdowns. The Governor and unelected advisors told Connecticut businesses and those they employ to stay home and shut it all down. The consequences of this action are no fault of the business community. They should not be forced to pay off unemployment compensation debt caused by executive order,” said Senator Miner.


“Connecticut took out a loan to pay for unemployment benefits during the pandemic and is now pushing off the debt. It was the state’s decision to take on this debt. This means that businesses will again bear the brunt of bad policy through higher taxes to pay it off. This is wrong and it’s the state’s responsibility to now make things right for Connecticut families. I was proud to join CBIA, NFIB, the Connecticut Restaurant Association, Connecticut Retail Merchants Association, Greater New Haven Chamber of Commerce, Quinnipiac Chamber of Commerce and local business owners to tell the legislature that we cannot again place crushing burdens on local businesses and families,” he said.


CBIA president and CEO Chris DiPentima noted that the state borrowed $888 million from the federal government to cover pandemic-driven unemployment compensation benefit claims after the unemployment trust fund became insolvent.


According to CBIA, $425 million has been repaid to date, with employers repaying $300 million and federal COVID relief funds covering $125 million, plus $26 million in interest payments.
Employers are responsible for the remaining $463 million loan balance—and face four years of tax hikes, beginning this fall, to cover those repayments.