A panel of senators advanced measures Wednesday to stop unemployment benefits for seasonal workers and part-time workers.
Now, the full Senate will consider the bills.
Also, the panel sent back bills requiring drug testing and volunteer service for those who receive unemployment benefits. The U.S. Department of Labor has said both of the bills would violate federal law, and expectations are low that the bills will advance further toward becoming state law.
And a final unemployment-related bill that would stop benefits for those fired for misconduct has been held over and will get some additional review.
It may still have a chance of clearing the committee and going to the full Senate, said its sponsor Sen. Kevin Bryant, R-Anderson.
At issue is a sluggish economy in which S.C. business owners are upset about paying unemployment benefits to workers. Bryant and his legislative allies are working to cut the amount businesses pay and ensure only workers laid off through no fault of their own receive benefits.
Sue Berkowitz, director of the S.C. Appleseed Legal Justice Center that advocates for the low-income, said she is disappointed that the bill to stop benefits for part-time workers is advancing.
“This is going to have an impact on women and the low-income who have child care issues,” Berkowitz said. “There are people who can only work part-time.”
Read more in tomorrow’s The State.
-- Gina Smith