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Senator Whitley Introduces SB 161 to Senate ED&A

Contact Name: Marina Altschiller

Phone: (603) 271-3207

CONCORD – Today, Senator Becky Whitley (D-Hopkinton) introduced SB 161 to the Senate Executive Departments & Administration Committee. SB 161 responds to the most pressing needs of Granite Staters by prohibiting the state from charging interest in the settlement of overpaid unemployment compensation where fraud is not an issue, collecting overpayments of unemployment compensation until a debtor has exhausted all administrative remedies, and collecting overpayments during the state of emergency due to COVID-19, including overpayments that occurred prior to the Governor’s emergency order.

After the hearing, prime sponsor Senator Becky Whitley (D-Hopkinton) issued the following statement:

"Too many Granite Staters are struggling right now and have been struggling for close to a year as the pandemic drags on. Notably, in the past year, New Hampshire women have lost more jobs than men, taken on more caregiving responsibilities, and served as the majority of essential workers on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic. We should be supporting all Granite State workers right now - including those disproportionately feeling the impacts of the pandemic - to allow them to get back on their feet while also providing for their families. Right now, New Hampshire is one of only 15 states that applies interest on overpayments, placing an unnecessary and overly punitive burden on families during an ongoing pandemic and economic crisis. We owe it to our fellow Granite Staters to ensure they aren’t punished when trying to access benefits they need now more than ever.”



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