Young introduces bipartisan bill to improve worker education aid

U.S. Sen. Todd Young (R-IN) recently proposed the bipartisan Skills Enhancement and Retraining Assistance Act, which would increase the amount of tax-free educational assistance that employees of education programs workforce development may receive from their employer.

“As we emerge from the pandemic, businesses and workers in Hoosier must pick up the pieces,” said Senator Young. “The bipartisan Upskilling and Retraining Assistance Act would temporarily bolster this important education assistance tax provision to invest in our post-pandemic workforce development needs and equip workers with the skills appropriate for high-demand jobs as our public health and economic recovery continues.”

Senator Young co-sponsored S. 1802 with the bill’s sponsor, U.S. Senator Maggie Hassan (D-NH) to make two changes to Section 127 of the tax code to modernize and expand the use of assistance with educational programs that employers can provide for their workers, according to a summary of the bill provided by lawmakers.

The bill would enact an emergency extension of the tax exclusion from $5,250 to $12,000 for the next two years. This would adjust the exclusion to account for the past three decades of inflation, helping employers meet the needs of their workers as they grapple with the impacts of COVID-19 on their business, the summary says.

Additionally, the bill would expand the tax exclusion to cover the cost of education-related tools and technology, including hand tools, building materials, computers and software, and others. elements related to the costs of a worker completing his education program.

The legislation is supported by many organizations and companies, including the American Association of Community Colleges, National Association of College and University Business Officers, American Council on Education, American Hotel and Lodging Association, Coalition to Preserve Employer -Provided Education Assistance, the National Electrical Contractors Association, Starbucks Coffee Co., and Walmart, among others.

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