A N A C T
RELATING TO EMPLOYMENT SECURITY
It is enacted by the General Assembly as follows:
SECTION 1. Chapter 28-42 of the General Laws entitled "Employment Security" is hereby amended by adding thereto the following sections:
28-42-86. Employment security reemployment fund. -- Whereas, improvements in the standard of living for unemployed Rhode Islanders by facilitating their return to work is one of the top priorities of state government; and
Whereas, the state's low unemployment rate has made it increasingly difficult for employers to find qualified workers to fill their job openings; and
Whereas, the federal government has failed to provide sufficient resources for the state to provide the level of services needed to alleviate these problems; and
Whereas, other states have had success with targeted job matching programs and intensive reemployment services; and
Whereas, such programs can help employers fill job openings more rapidly, accelerate the claimant's return to work, reduce unemployment costs, and strengthen the state's economy as a result;
Now, therefore, the general assembly declares that the department of labor and training shall institute a pilot research and demonstration rapid reemployment program. The program shall include an automated job matching system to match employer job orders with qualified unemployed individuals and an intensive reemployment services project to help those who are not job ready. The reemployment services may include, but not be limited to, focused job search strategies for individuals, resume preparation assistance, job development, interview preparation workshops, and continued job matching and referral.
28-42-87. Employment security reemployment fund -- Establishment -- Sources. -- (a) There is hereby created the employment security reemployment fund, to be administered by the department of labor and training, without liability on the part of the state beyond the amounts paid into and earned by the fund. This fund shall consist of:
(i) All payments received from employers and paid pursuant to section 28-43-8.6;
(ii) All other moneys paid into and received by the fund;
(iii) Property and securities acquired by and through the use of moneys belonging to the fund; and
(iv) Interest earned upon moneys belonging to the fund.
(2) All moneys in the employment security reemployment fund shall be mingled and undivided.
(b) All moneys received by the director for the employment security reemployment fund shall, upon receipt, be deposited by the director in a clearance account in a bank in this state.
28-42-88. Employment security reemployment fund -- Disbursements -- Unexpended balance. -- (a) The moneys in the employment security reemployment fund shall be used for the following purposes:
(1) To make refunds of contributions erroneously collected and deposited in the fund;
(2) To pay any administrative expenses incurred by the department of labor and training associated with the collection of the contributions for employers paid pursuant to section 28-43-8.6, and any other administrative expenses associated with the maintenance of the fund, including the payment of all premiums upon bonds required pursuant to section 28-42-89; and
(3) To pay any administrative expenses incurred by the department of labor and training to implement and operate a three-year pilot research and demonstration rapid reemployment program.
(b) The general treasurer shall pay all vouchers duly drawn by the director upon the fund, in such amounts and in such manner as the director may prescribe. Vouchers so drawn upon the fund shall referred to the controller within the department of administration. Upon receipt of those vouchers, the controller shall immediately record and sign them and shall promptly transfer those vouchers so signed to the general treasurer; provided, however, that those expenditures shall be used solely for the purposes herein specified and its balance shall not lapse at any time but shall remain continuously available for expenditures consistent herewith. Beginning July 1, 2001 and thereafter, the general assembly shall annually appropriate the funds contained in the fund for the use of the department of labor and training.
28-42-89. Employment security reemployment fund -- Treasurer -- Bond -- Investments. -- (a) The general treasurer shall be custodian and treasurer of the employment security reemployment fund. The general treasurer shall have custody of all moneys belonging to the fund. The general treasurer shall have custody of all moneys belonging to the fund and not otherwise held, deposited, or invested pursuant to chapters 42-44 of this title.
(b) The general treasurer shall give bond conditioned on the faithful performance of his or her duties as custodian and treasurer of the fund, in a form prescribed by statute and approved by the attorney general, and in amount specified by the governor. All premiums upon the bond required pursuant to this section when furnished by an authorized surety company or by a duly constituted governmental bonding fund shall be paid from the moneys in the employment security administration account. The general treasurer shall deposit the moneys in his or her custody subject to chapters 42-44 of this title.
(c) The general treasurer, as custodian of the fund, shall hold, invest, transfer, sell, deposit, and release those moneys, properties, or securities in a manner approved by the governor in accordance with chapters 42-44 of this title; provided, however, that those moneys shall be invested in the classes of securities legal for investment of public moneys of this state and provided, further, that the investment shall at all times be so made that all assets of the fund shall always be readily convertible into cash when needed for the expenditures specified in section 28-42-88.
SECTION 2. Chapter 28-43 of the General Laws entitled "Employment Security - Contributions" is hereby amended by adding thereto the following section:
28-43-86. Employment security reemployment assessment. -- For the tax years 2001, 2002 and 2003 each employer subject to this chapter shall be required to pay an employment security reemployment assessment of three hundredths of one percent (0.03%) of that employer's taxable payroll, in addition to any other payment which that employer is required to make under any other provision of this chapter; provided, however, that the assessment shall not be considered as part of the individual employer's contribution rate for the purpose of determining the individual employer's balancing charge pursuant to section 28-43-9. Provided, further however, that the tax rate for all employers subject to the contribution provisions of chapters 42- 44 of this title shall be reduced by three hundredths of one percent (0.03%).
SECTION 3. This act shall take effect upon passage.