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Capitol Briefs: Overpayment protection bills pass House committee

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — A bipartisan push to forgive unemployment overpayments during the COVID-19 pandemic is moving forward in the lower chamber.

Seven bills — three from Democrats and four from Republicans — were condensed into one and passed by the House Special Committee on Government Oversight Wednesday morning. The combined legislation would allow the Department of Labor to forgive non-fraudulent overpayments of unemployment benefits granted through the federal CARES Act or other federal programs designed to provide employment security relief. 

Additionally, a resolution from Rep. Peter Merideth asks Gov. Mike Parson to forgive federal overpayments during the pandemic. Both pieces were referred to the House Rules – Administrative Oversight Committee for further consideration. 

  • The issue was the subject of a three-hour long hearing earlier this month, where Labor Director Anna Hui fielded questions from lawmakers over their concerns.
  • According to DES, around 46,000 Missourians received the overpayments and were told to repay them. Hui said the average amount owed by recipients was $4,000.
  • Similar bills have been filed in the upper chamber by Sens. Lincoln Hough and Doug Beck