A bipartisan bill passed by the Special Committee on Government Oversight on Wed. Feb. 18, would allow Missourians to keep a portion of overpaid unemployment benefits, that were paid out of federal funds.
Missouri overpaid more than $150 million in unemployment since the start of the pandemic, according to the Missouri Department of Labor Director. An estimated 75 to 80 percent of the overpaid benefits came from federal funds, which Missourians would be able to keep as long as they did not commit fraud.
Representative Tony Lovasco was one of two republican members on the committee who were concerned about the bill's lack of definition of fraud in the bill’s context.
“Fraud does require intent, so I don’t know how we would really be able to in a reasonable fashion actually make those determinations in a real time basis.”
Representatives indicated they would address overpayments of state funds at a later date.