FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Shawn.Lewis@asm.ca.gov; (916) 342-9315
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Assemblymember Steven Choi introduces First Bill of 2022 to Protect Small Businesses from an Unemployment Insurance Tax Increase
AB 1596 (Choi) Fully Repays Federal Unemployment Insurance Loan with Historic State Surplus to Protect Small Business from UI Tax Increase
SACRAMENTO, Calif., January 3, 2022 – Today, Assemblymember Steven Choi, Ph.D. (Irvine), introduced his first bill of 2022, Assembly Bill 1596, which would protect small businesses from an unemployment insurance tax increase by fully repaying the existing federal UI loan debt with state budget surplus dollars.
“California employers, especially small businesses, have struggled to survive nearly two years of the ongoing COVID pandemic. When the government forced businesses to close their doors, millions of Californians were forced to file unemployment insurance claims, which rapidly depleted California’s Unemployment Insurance Trust. This led the State of California to borrow billions of dollars from the federal government to pay these unemployment insurance claims,” remarked Assemblymember Choi.
“If we do nothing, California employers will be hit with a new annual tax to repay this UI loan debt beginning January 2023. AB 1596 directs $19.3 billion from the estimated $30+ billion historic state surplus to fully repay this federal UI loan and prevent this tax increase next year. Small businesses should not be punished with a new tax to repay the massive unemployment insurance claims which were the result of government-imposed lockdowns,” added Assemblymember Choi.
AB 1596 enjoys the co-authorship of several legislators including Senators Andreas Borgeas, Brian Jones, and Rosilicie Ochoa Bogh; and Assemblymembers Phillip Chen, Jordan Cunningham, Laurie Davies, Vince Fong, James Gallagher, Tom Lackey, Devon Mathis, Janet Nguyen, Kelly Seyarto, Suzette Valladares, Randy Voepel, and Marie Waldron.
Assemblyman Steven Choi serves the 68th District in the California Legislature, which includes Lake Forest, Irvine, Orange, North Tustin, Tustin, and Villa Park.