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Biggest cut of crisis relief money for unemployment trust

Virginia Unemployment Commission
Posted at 8:27 AM, Aug 14, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-14 08:27:21-04

RICHMOND, Va. -- About 20% of Virginia’s funding from the latest federal coronavirus relief bill will help replenish the fund that pays unemployment benefits, staving off hefty tax increases for employers.

But only about 2% will pay for improvements at the state agency that handles those benefits and has faced widespread criticism about its performance during the pandemic.

While business groups have welcomed the funding, workers’ advocates said the imbalance shows Virginia Democrats’ priorities are out of order.

Gov. Ralph Northam's spokeswoman says it would be “irresponsible” to leave the fund at its currently depleted levels.