New Mexico Approves Unemployment System Fix

Mar 14, 2013

A proposal to shore up the finances of New Mexico's unemployment compensation program has won final approval in the Legislature.

The measure would establish a new system for automatically setting tax rates that determine how much businesses must pay for the state-run insurance program that provides benefits to jobless workers.

The bill heads to Republican Gov. Susana Martinez, who pushed for the changes to remove political influences from the rate system.

The unemployment fund has faced possible insolvency in recent years after lawmakers cut employer contribution rates and then the economy soured, causing more claims for jobless benefits. Martinez and the Legislature have battled over possible tax increases to improve the fund's finances.

The legislation cleared its final hurdle in the Legislature when it unanimously passed the House on Thursday.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.