Bipartisan bill to help hire, retrain workers introduced in Congress

Regional News
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WASHINGTON (WTWO/WAWV) – Sen. Todd Young of Indiana has introduced a bipartisan bill to help businesses hire and retrain workers who have lost their jobs during the coronavirus pandemic.

Young, a Republican, co-authored the Upskilling and Retraining Assistance Act along with Democratic Sen. Maggie Hassan of New Hampshire in an effort to increase the amount of tax-free assistance that individuals in workforce development programs could receive from their employers.

“As the coronavirus pandemic continues, Hoosier businesses and workers are left with few places to turn,” Young said in a press release.

He has hopes that the bill will provide for more training for American workers, as well as increase workforce development programs.

“This bipartisan legislation would make long overdue changes to the tax code to encourage employers to provide educational and training opportunites,” said Hassan in the same press release.

Currently, tax code only allows employers to pay up to $5,250 for educational programs tax-free. That figure was included in 1986, and has not been changed since then despite rising costs for higher education. The bill would expand that tax exclusion to $12,000 for the next two years, as well as include provisions to cover the costs of education-related tools and technology.

This is the second bill that the two senators have introduced together, having previously worked on the bipartisan Gateway to Careers Act last year.

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