Missouri has the opportunity to lead in unemployment reform

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Just two weeks ago, Missouri was on pace to become a national leader on unemployment policy with legislation encouraging people to return to work faster and reduce unemployment fraud. Unfortunately, with the close of the legislative session, that is no longer the case. However, as legislative leaders and Gov. Mike Parson weigh the possibility of special sessions, they should consider finishing what they started in HB 649 and reform unemployment policy.

Parson has done his part, opting the state out of federal unemployment bonuses. He put it well when he said, “[Missouri’s] economy is built upon an active and vibrant workforce, and we should be cultivating job creation and employment rather than inhibiting them.”

The governor’s message is consistent with the true purpose of unemployment programs: reemployment. Properly designed programs lead claimants to the next job and make sure they get it as quickly as possible.