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House Bill To Provide Relief to Struggling Hawaiʻi Businesses Moves Forward in State Legislature

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The Hawai‘i State House of Representatives unanimously passed on its third reading House Bill 1278 HD1 and sent the bill, which provides relief to businesses, to the Senate for consideration and action.

Gov. David Ige must sign the bill into law before March in order to prevent automatic assessment increases from being triggered for all Hawai‘i businesses.

“This is a critical bill to minimize the impact on struggling employers and businesses, and to lessen the burden of escalating unemployment costs that have been caused by this pandemic,” said Rep. Richard Onishi, Chair of the Committee on Labor and Tourism.

Due to the pandemic, unemployment costs have risen exponentially, impacting not just for-profit businesses, but also countless nonprofit service providers who are providing important, necessary services at the moment when communities need them the most.

This bill, amended by the House Labor and Tourism Committee and Finance Committee, caps the increases on unemployment assessments through 2022 and eases some of the burdens on all businesses in Hawai‘i as they continue to face the lingering impacts of the pandemic.

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