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Mass. Gov.: Freeze Unemployment Insurance Rates

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BOSTON (AP) — Gov. Deval Patrick is filing legislation to freeze the unemployment insurance rates businesses pay in Massachusetts and end parts of the state’s landmark 2006 health care law that conflict with the federal Affordable Care Act.

Patrick said the bill would freeze the unemployment rates for the fourth year in a row, saving employers another $500 million. Over four years the savings for businesses total $1.7 billion.

Patrick’s bill would also eliminate the annual $295 per employee that businesses with 11 or more workers must pay if they don’t make what the state deems is a “fair and reasonable” contribution to their workers’ health insurance.

The so-called “Fair Share Contribution Program” was mandated by the 2006 state law, but Patrick said it overlaps with a provision in the federal law set to take effect in 2014.


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