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28th Legislature(2013-2014)

Bill Text 28th Legislature


00 Enrolled HB 76                                                                                                          
01 Relating to electronic filing of certain information with the Department of Labor and                                   
02 Workforce Development; relating to fund solvency adjustments, rate increase reduction,                                  
03 prohibition on the relief of certain charges, the unemployment trust fund account, and the                              
04 offset of certain unemployment compensation debt under the Alaska Employment Security                                   
05 Act; relating to the definition of "covered unemployment compensation debt" in the Alaska                               
06 Employment Security Act; and providing for an effective date.                                                           
07                           _______________                                                                               
08    * Section 1. AS 23.05 is amended by adding a new section to read:                                                  
09            Sec. 23.05.055. Electronic filing. Notwithstanding any contrary provision of                               
10       the law, if the commissioner determines by order that it is in the public interest, the                           
11       commissioner may authorize electronic filing of certain information with the                                      
12       department in a format prescribed by the department as an additional means of filing                              
01       under this title. If the commissioner authorizes electronic filing, the department shall                          
02       consider the electronic filing as equivalent to paper filing for purposes of compliance                           
03       with other requirements of this title. Electronic filings authorized under this section are                       
04       equivalent to paper filings for the purposes of civil or criminal penalties for violations                        
05       of this title or AS 11.                                                                                           
06    * Sec. 2. AS 23.20 is amended by adding a new section to read:                                                     
07            Sec. 23.20.021. Certain appropriations to the fund. In accordance with                                     
08       AS 37.07 (Executive Budget Act), the legislature may appropriate money to the fund.                               
09    * Sec. 3. AS 23.20 is amended by adding a new section to article 3 to read:                                        
10            Sec. 23.20.279. Prohibition on relief of certain charges to an employer's                                  
11       account. (a) An employer's account may not be relieved of charges relating to a                                 
12       payment that was made erroneously from the unemployment trust fund account                                        
13       (AS 23.20.135(a)) if the department determines that                                                               
14                 (1)  the erroneous payment was made because the employer or an agent                                    
15       of the employer was at fault for failing to respond timely or adequately to a                                     
16       documented request from the department for information relating to the claim for                                  
17       unemployment compensation; and                                                                                    
18                 (2)  the employer or an agent of the employer has established a pattern                                 
19       of failing to respond timely or adequately to requests under (1) of this subsection.                              
20            (b)  In this section,                                                                                        
21                 (1)  "erroneous payment" means a payment that, but for the failure by                                   
22       the employer or an agent of the employer with respect to the claim for unemployment                               
23       compensation, would not have been made;                                                                           
24                 (2)  "pattern of failing" means repeated documented failure by the                                      
25       employer or the agent of the employer to respond, taking into consideration the                                   
26       number of instances of failure in relation to the total volume of requests; however, an                           
27       employer or an agent of the employer that fails to respond as described in (a)(2) of this                         
28       section may not be determined to have engaged in a pattern of failure if the number of                            
29       failures during the year before the request is made is fewer than two or the percentage                           
30       of failures is less than two percent.                                                                             
31    * Sec. 4. AS 23.20.290(c) is amended to read:                                                                      
01            (c) The rate of contributions for each employer is a percentage of the average                               
02       benefit cost rate multiplied by the employer's experience factor set out in column C of                           
03       the table in this subsection opposite the employer's applicable rate class set out in                             
04       column A plus the fund solvency adjustment surcharge required under (f) of this                               
05       section. That percentage is 76 percent beginning January 1, 2009, and 73 percent                                  
06       beginning January 1, 2010. However, the rate of contributions for an employer may                                 
07       not be less than one percent or more than six and one-half percent. The rate of                                   
08       contributions for an employer in rate class 21 may not be less than 5.4 percent. The                              
09       rate of contributions for an employer must be rounded to the nearest 1/100th of one                               
10       percent.                                                                                                          
11                                 COLUMN B               COLUMN C                                                         
12             COLUMN A            Cumulative               Experience                                                     
13              Rate Class        Ratable Payroll             Factor                                                       
14                              at least     but less than                                                                 
15                             (percent)      (percent)                                                                    
16                1                             5             .40                                                          
17                2              5              10            .45                                                          
18                3              10             15            .50                                                          
19                4              15             20            .55                                                          
20                5              20             25            .60                                                          
21                6              25             30            .65                                                          
22                7              30             35            .70                                                          
23                8              35             40            .80                                                          
24                9              40             45            .90                                                          
25                10             45             50           1.00                                                          
26                11             50             55           1.00                                                          
27                12             55             60           1.10                                                          
28                13             60             65           1.20                                                          
29                14             65             70           1.30                                                          
30                15             70             75           1.35                                                          
31                16             75             80           1.40                                                          
01                17             80             85           1.45                                                          
02                18             85             90           1.50                                                          
03                19             90             95           1.55                                                          
04                20             95          99.99           1.60                                                          
05                21          99.99                          1.65.                                                         
06    * Sec. 5. AS 23.20.290(f) is repealed and reenacted to read:                                                       
07            (f)  An employer shall pay a fund solvency adjustment surcharge if the reserve                               
08       rate is less than three percent. The surcharge is a percentage equal to the difference                            
09       between three percent and the reserve rate, rounded to the nearest 1/100 of one                                   
10       percent. An employer shall receive a fund solvency adjustment credit if the reserve                               
11       rate is greater than 3.3 percent. The credit is a percentage equal to the difference                              
12       between 3.3 percent and the reserve rate rounded to the nearest 1/100 of one percent.                             
13       The solvency surcharge may not be greater than 1.1 percent, and the solvency credit                               
14       may not be greater than 0.4 percent. However, an employer's fund solvency                                         
15       adjustment surcharge may not increase more than 0.3 percent from one year to the                                  
16       next year.                                                                                                        
17    * Sec. 6. AS 23.20 is amended by adding a new section to read:                                                     
18            Sec. 23.20.291. Rate increase reductions. (a) When the most current average                                
19       high cost multiple published by the United States Department of Labor, Employment                                 
20       and Training Administration, is 0.8 or above on September 30 in the year preceding                                
21       the year for which rates are being calculated, the commissioner shall consult with the                            
22       actuary in the department regarding the expected unemployment rate for the next tax                               
23       year, the expected number and amount of state funds needed to pay claims for state-                               
24       funded benefits for the next tax year, and the expected amount of state tax revenue.                              
25       Based on the actuary's advice and any other relevant information, the commissioner                                
26       may suspend, in whole or in part, any unemployment rate of contribution increases                                 
27       that would have occurred for that year under the calculation of the rate of                                       
28       contributions described in AS 23.20.290. If an increase of the rate of contribution                               
29       calculated under AS 23.20.290 is suspended, in whole or in part, the calculation of the                           
30       fund solvency adjustment surcharge as described in AS 23.20.290(f) for the                                        
31       subsequent year must refer to the results of the last rate of contribution calculation for                        
01       which the increase was not suspended, in whole or in part, when determining the level                             
02       from which the fund solvency adjustment may not increase by more than 0.3 percent.                                
03            (b)  In this section, "average high cost multiple" has the meaning given in 20                               
04       C.F.R. 606.3.                                                                                                     
05    * Sec. 7. AS 23.20.390(f) is amended to read:                                                                      
06            (f)  In addition to the liability under (a) of this section for the amount of                                
07       benefits improperly paid, an individual who is disqualified from receipt of benefits                              
08       under AS 23.20.387 is liable to the department for a penalty in an amount equal to 50                             
09       percent of the benefits that were obtained by knowingly making a false statement or                               
10       misrepresenting a material fact, or knowingly failing to report a material fact, with the                         
11       intent to obtain or increase benefits under this chapter. [THE DEPARTMENT MAY,                                    
12       UNDER REGULATIONS ADOPTED UNDER THIS CHAPTER, WAIVE THE                                                           
13       COLLECTION OF A PENALTY UNDER THIS SECTION.] The department shall                                                 
14       deposit into the unemployment trust fund account (AS 23.20.135(a)) a minimum                                  
15       of 30 percent of the penalties collected because of benefits that were obtained by                            
16       knowingly making a false statement or misrepresenting a material fact, or                                     
17       knowingly failing to report a material fact, with the intent to obtain or increase                            
18       benefits under this chapter [GENERAL FUND THE PENALTY THAT IT                                                 
19       COLLECTS].                                                                                                        
20    * Sec. 8. AS 23.20 is amended by adding a new section to read:                                                     
21            Sec. 23.20.486. Participation in the federal offset program. In addition to                                
22       any remedies authorized by this chapter, the department may offset any covered                                    
23       unemployment compensation debt against a claimant's federal income tax refund in                                  
24       accordance with 26 U.S.C. 6402.                                                                                   
25    * Sec. 9. AS 23.20.520 is amended by adding a new paragraph to read:                                               
26                 (23)  "covered unemployment compensation debt" means                                                    
27                      (A)  a past due debt for erroneous payment of unemployment                                         
28            compensation under this chapter because of fraud or the person's failure to                                  
29            report earnings that has become final under this chapter and that remains                                    
30            uncollected;                                                                                                 
31                      (B)  contributions due to the unemployment trust fund account                                      
01            (AS 23.20.135(a)) for which a person is liable and that remain uncollected; and                              
02                      (C)  any penalties and interest assessed on the debt.                                              
03    * Sec. 10. AS 23.20.291 is repealed July 1, 2016.                                                                  
04    * Sec. 11. The uncodified law of the State of Alaska is amended by adding a new section to                         
05 read:                                                                                                                   
06       APPLICABILITY. AS 23.20.279, added by sec. 3 of this Act, applies to overpaid                                     
07 benefits established after October 21, 2013.                                                                            
08    * Sec. 12. The uncodified law of the State of Alaska is amended by adding a new section to                         
09 read:                                                                                                                   
10       TRANSITION: REGULATIONS. The Department of Labor and Workforce                                                    
11 Development may adopt regulations necessary to implement the changes made by this Act.                                  
12 The regulations take effect under AS 44.62 (Administrative Procedure Act), but not before                               
13 July 1, 2013.                                                                                                           
14    * Sec. 13. Section 12 of this Act takes effect immediately under AS 01.10.070(c).                                  
15    * Sec. 14. Except as provided in sec. 13 of this Act, this Act takes effect July 1, 2013.                          
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