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101.5 News Radio looked at Thursday’s Senate committee vote to expand New Jersey’s job-sharing furlough law in a bid to leverage the extra unemployment benefits available through the federal CARES Act into potential savings for employers – in particular, state and local governments.

Sponsors of the bill say it could save employers hundreds of millions of dollars over the next three months and increase workers’ income by $1,000 to $6,000, with the biggest increases for those with the lowest salaries.

Among the changes made Thursday to the bill, S-2350, was the removal of a provision that would have given workers employed by businesses with fewer than 30 employees the right to return to work after taking paid family leave.

With that change, the New Jersey Business and Industry Association and New Jersey Chamber of Commerce endorsed the bill.

“We were worried about the family leave mandate within this bill for small businesses, and we were worried about the UI enhancements being permanent and maybe making the fund slower to recover,” said Chris Emigholz, NJBIA’s vice president for government affairs.

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