Summary: S.1945 — 102nd Congress (1991-1992)All Information (Except Text)

There is one summary for S.1945. Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Introduced in Senate (11/07/1991)

Emergency Unemployment Compensation Act of 1991 - Title I: Emergency Unemployment Compensation Program - Establishes an emergency unemployment compensation program.

Allows any State to enter into and participate in an agreement with the Secretary of Labor (the Secretary) under which the State agency which administers the State unemployment compensation law will make payments of emergency unemployment compensation: (1) to individuals who have exhausted all rights to regular compensation under State law, have no rights to such regular compensation or any additional State or Federal compensation, and are not receiving Canadian compensation; and (2) for any week of unemployment beginning in the individual's eligibility period. Sets forth provisions relating to exhaustion of regular benefits and weekly amount of emergency benefits equal to regular benefits.

Authorizes a State Governor, in a period of a seven or eight percent total unemployment rate in that State (as defined under this Act), to elect to trigger an extended compensation period to provide emergency unemployment compensation to individuals who have exhausted their rights to regular compensation under State law.

Requires a State, under such an agreement, to establish an emergency unemployment compensation account with respect to the benefit year of each eligible individual who files an application. Limits benefit payments to not more than the amount in the individual's account. Sets forth formulas for determining the amount in such account. Provides that the applicable limit in such account shall be equal to: (1) 20 for an eight-percent period, i.e. one triggered by a total unemployment rate (TUR) of eight percent or more in the State, seasonally adjusted, for the most recent six calendar months with available data; (2) 13 for a seven-percent period; and (3) seven for a six-percent period or for any other period. Sets forth special rules relating to such applicable limits. Requires reduction in such account by the amount of extended benefits received by the individual relating to the same benefit year under the Federal-State Extended Unemployment Compensation Act of 1970. Sets the weekly benefit amount at the amount of regular compensation (including dependents' allowances) payable under the State law to the individual for such week for total unemployment. Provides for determination of periods and applicable triggers. Provides for a minimum period of at least 13 weeks.

Provides, in general, that no emergency unemployment compensation shall be payable to any individual under this Act for any week beginning: (1) before the later of November 17, 1991, or the first week following the week in which an agreement under this Act is entered into; or (2) after August 1, 1992. Sets forth transition and reachback provisions for the eligibility of certain individuals for such benefits, as exceptions to such general rule.

Provides for payments to States having such agreements for emergency unemployment compensation.

Sets forth financing provisions. Requires that funds in the extended unemployment compensation account of the Unemployment Trust Fund be used to make payments to States having agreements under this Act.

Sets forth provisions relating to fraud and overpayments.

Defines the eligible period under this Act. Provides that in no event shall an individual's period of eligibility include any weeks after the 39th week after the end of the benefit year for which the individual exhausted rights to regular compensation or extended compensation.

Title II: Demonstration Program to Provide Job Search Assistance - Directs the Secretary to carry out a demonstration program to determine the feasibility of implementing job search assistance programs. Requires selection of three States to participate in such program, based on specified criteria. Requires that at least one of these States will replicate a prior successful demonstration project for job search assistance. Sets forth requirements for the program agreement with these States.

Requires a job search assistance program, for purposes of this title, to: (1) require certain unemployment compensation recipients to participate in a qualified intensive job search program (the program) after receiving such compensation for at least six but not more than ten weeks during any benefit year; (2) entitle such individuals to an intensive job search program voucher; and (3) disqualify those who do not satisfactorily participate in such program from receiving such compensation for a specified period of not more than ten weeks. Makes such program requirements applicable to such recipients if, during a specified three-year period, they had at least 126 weeks of employment at wages of $30 or more a week with their last employer (or an equivalent amount computed under prescribed regulations). Sets forth exceptions to such program requirements and program qualifications. Provides that such vouchers entitle the organization (including the State employment service) providing the program to a payment from the State agency equal to the lesser of: (1) the reasonable costs of providing the program; or (2) the average weekly benefit amount in the State.

Requires Federal payments from the extended unemployment compensation account to each participating State's account in the Unemployment Trust Fund in an amount equal to the payments made by the State agency for such program vouchers. Provides for payments on a calendar month basis, and for certification by the Secretary.

Directs the Secretary to submit two interim reports and a final report to the Congress on the demonstration program under this title.

Title III: Other Provisions - Amends specified Federal law to repeal certain limitations on payment of unemployment compensation to former members of the armed forces. Reduces the length of required active duty by reserves for purposes of such payment.

Amends the Federal Unemployment Tax Act (FUTA) provisions of the Internal Revenue Code to allow optional unemployment benefits for certain school employees, by making denial of such benefits discretionary rather than mandatory.

Amends the Railroad Unemployment Insurance Act to provide temporary extended railroad unemployment insurance benefits, to railroad employees who have less than ten years of service, for certain periods of high national unemployment. Provides for such extended benefits for up to 13 weeks (65 days of unemployment), through July 4, 1992. Sets forth transition and reachback provisions.

Amends the Social Security Act to establish an Advisory Council on Unemployment Compensation. Directs the Secretary to establish such a council by February 1, 1992, and every fourth year thereafter. Requires each such council to evaluate the unemployment compensation program. Sets forth membership and staff provisions. Requires each council to report to the President and the Congress by February 1 of the second year following the year in which it is required to be established. Requires the first Council report to include findings and recommendations on determining eligibility for extended unemployment benefits on the basis of unemployment statistics for regions, States, or subdivisions of States.

Directs the Secretary, within 12 months, to report to the Congress a proposal for revising the method of allocating grants among the States for administration of the unemployment insurance program. Prohibits the Secretary from revising such method until 12 months after such report is submitted to the Congress.

Directs the Secretary to give special consideration to providing services to dislocated workers in the Washington and Oregon timber industries in determining specified programs and activities to be funded under the Job Training Partnership Act in FY 1991 and 1992.

Title IV: Budgetary Provisions - Subtitle A: Emergency Treatment - Provides that the following emergency designation provisions shall take effect only if, on or before the enactment date of this Act, the President: (1) has not submitted to the Congress either of the two written declarations described under specified effectiveness provisions of subtitles B and C; or (2) has submitted to the Congress both of such declarations. Provides that all direct spending amounts provided, and all appropriations authorized, by this Act shall be treated as emergency requirements designated by the President and the Congress under the Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act of 1985 (Gramm-Rudman-Hollings Act).

Subtitle B: Reductions in Foreign Aid and Other Spending - Provides that this subtitle shall take effect only if the President: (1) submits to the Congress, not later than the enactment date of this Act, a written declaration of need for reductions in foreign aid and other spending; and (2) has not submitted, on or before such date, the written declaration described in subtitle C.

Part I: Foreign Aid Reductions - Provides for reductions in foreign aid. Decreases certain discretionary spending limits in new budget authority, and outlays (under the Congressional Budget Act of 1974, as amended by the Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act of 1985) for specified international categories and discretionary categories. Prohibits any such reductions from being achieved through reduction of: (1) domestic discretionary spending; or (2) assistance to the Camp David countries.

Part II: Collection of Nontax Debts - Amends the Deficit Reduction Act to 1984 to provide for permanent extension of provisions relating to collection of nontax debts owed to Federal agencies.

Part III: Guaranteed Student Loans - Amends title IV (Student Assistance) of the Higher Education of 1965 (HEA) to revise provisions relating to the Stafford student loan program (including guaranteed student loans and federally-insured student loans).

Requires, in the case of such student loan applicants over age 21, that the lender: (1) obtain a credit report; and (2) require a cosigner for such applicants who have adverse credit histories. Allows the lender to charge such applicants for the actual cost of such credit reports, up to $25.

Requires the lender to obtain the borrower's driver's license number, if any, at the time of application for such a student loan.

Directs eligible institutions to require borrowers of any student loan under HEA to supply the following exit interview information: (1) their expected permanent address after leaving the institution; (2) the name and address of their expected employer; and (3) the name and address of their next of kin.

Requires student loan interest-subsidy insurance program agreements to require the lender to obtain the borrower's authorization for entry of judgment against the borrower in the event of default.

Provides for wage garnishment for student loan collection. Authorizes a guaranty agency, or the Secretary where appropriate, to garnish the disposable pay of an individual to collect the amount owed or the required repayment, subject to certain conditions.

Provides for data matching. Authorizes the Secretary of Education to obtain from Federal agencies specified information relating to an individual for student loan collection purposes.

Amends the Higher Education Technical Amendments of 1991 (P.L. 102-26) to revise provisions relating to limitation of actions for collection of student loan repayments and grant overpayments.

Subtitle C: Alternative Financing Provisions - Provides that this subtitle and parts II and III of subtitle B shall take effect only if the President: (1) submits to the Congress, not later than the enactment date of this Act, a written declaration of the need for the financing provisions under this subtitle; and (2) has not submitted, on or before such date, the written declaration described in subtitle B.

Amends the Federal Unemployment Tax Act (FUTA) provisions of the Internal Revenue Code to extend the surtax imposed on employers through 1996.

Amends the Internal Revenue Code to limit the use of the preceding year's tax for purposes of determining individual estimated tax payments.

Subtitle D: General Budgetary Provisions - Exempts payments (including budget authority and outlays for administrative expenses incurred in connection with this Act) relating to emergency unemployment compensation under titles I, II, and III of this Act from any order issued under specified sequestration provisions of the Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act of 1985.

Provides that all receipts and direct spending amounts provided, and all appropriations authorized, by this Act shall be counted as zero for all purposes under the Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act of 1985 and for purposes of all points of order under the Congressional Budget Act of 1974, with specified exceptions for considering such amounts for: (1) construction of the baseline for the President's budget and the congressional budget; and (2) adjustment of the maximum deficit amount to reflect up-to-date reestimates of the effects of this Act on the deficit.