Rep. Alan Seabaugh talks about the current condition of the state's unemployment fund, which Governor John Bel Edwards says is about to drop below $100 million.

Governor John Bel Edwards says that the effects of unemployment caused by COVID 19 mandates have caused the state's unemployment fund to shrink from slightly more than a billion dollars to a current level of $143 million. When the account balance dips below the $100 million mark, it is legislated that the state must borrow money from the federal government to insure the funds solvency.

Seabaugh then explains the mandatory payroll tax surcharge that is also tied to the depleted fund. "There's a provision that says if (the unemployment fund) dips below $100 million, a 30% surcharge or increase would automatically hit businesses," he says, "But - and this is the big one - not for six months. We would have six months to fix it. We'll probably have a special session between now and then. There are some things that we can do before it kicks in."

"The Speaker (Republican Clay Schexnayder) has gone public...with a message that says that is not going to happen, we'll go to special session if we have to, I'm not going to let that happen on my watch."

As far as the fund going below the $100 million mark, Seabaugh says that will most likely happen in September or October. Governor John Bel Edwards, meanwhile, has stated repeatedly that "it's not a question of if, but when" the fund falls below the $100 million mark.



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