GOVERNOR'S OFFICE, COMMERCE DEPARTMENT TO ADDRESS ESC REFORM, WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT, AND UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE DEFICIT
Given the continued lack of meaningful reform at the Employment Security Commission (ESC), an Unemployment Insurance Fund deficit fast approaching $1 billion, and the potential of counterproductive tax increases on the state's businesses, Gov. Mark Sanford today announced plans to host an Unemployment Roundtable with the South Carolina Department of Commerce.
"In light of yesterday's Greenville News reporting a possible $567 per employee tax increase on our state's businesses, I'd say that simply raising unemployment insurance taxes is the decidedly wrong answer in this situation," Gov. Sanford said. "This billion-dollar debt crisis is exactly what we warned of nearly a year ago when advocating for reform at the ESC, and with these consequences now coming to bear, it's more vital than ever that we partner with legislative leaders and stakeholders from the business community to take a substantive step forward this coming session.
"South Carolina's unemployment insurance is structured differently in several ways, which underscores the compelling need for reform. Reform - coupled with enhanced workforce development and better soft skills training - is vital not only for the business community to survive and indeed thrive, but also vital to this larger notion of fairness and minimizing the tax burden on the job-creating businesses and hard-working people across this state. That said, I'd invite all interested on this front to join our office, the Commerce Department, and leaders from around the state in this discussion."
The Unemployment Roundtable will be held in Columbia on October 19, 2009. Members of the General Assembly, key leaders from the business community, relevant officials from across state government, members of the media and interested citizens will be invited to attend. Details will be provided in the coming days.