Updates on stimulus unemployment benefits…to get an idea how widely the amounts vary from state to state this line in an AP piece jumped out at me: The highest weekly unemployment compensation is $584 in New Jersey, $362 in Michigan and $240 in Arizona…(It’s a crap shoot, and God willing your cost of living will match up with your benefit amount)
The $25.00 a week unemployment boost is available to EVERYONE, Congress mandated it, but it is temporary and when funding runs out, it is gone. The only variant on that benefit is how quickly states get the funds out..
Congress made sure some money is directly available for citizens without waiting for governmental decisions. Among other things:
• • Most Texans’ paychecks will be a little fatter starting this month as the Making Work Pay tax credit kicks in and employers reduce their payroll tax withholdings by about $13 a week.
• • Texas’ jobless are now receiving an extra $25 a week in their benefits as mandated by Congress, according to the Texas Workforce Commission.
• • Food stamp recipients soon will get about $38 a month more to spend on necessities, according to the Texas Health and Human Services Commission.
Update on the expansion of unemployment benefits which would require changes to state law:
For Florida’s jobless residents, unemployment compensation is a lifesaver. But if the state doesn’t act soon, unemployed residents who exhaust their jobless benefits may be out of luck. Florida is eligible to receive $777 million in federal money that would provide 20 more weeks of jobless benefits, in addition to the 59-week maximum now allowed. Those who have exhausted their benefits but have not yet found a job would qualify, as well as those just recently laid off…
There are a handful of other bills, but none extends benefits for Florida’s unemployed who have exhausted benefits and still don’t have a new job….
…Unemployed workers who receive 26 weeks of regular benefits are entitled to 33 weeks of emergency benefits under Obama’s stimulus package, a cash infusion geared to jump-start the U.S. economy….The maximum weekly jobless check is $275 plus $25 extra as part of the stimulus….
FL-Orlando Sentinel advises the legislature NOT take the money, follow linky for the number on what it will cost the state to expand benefits:
….House GOP leaders are happy for Florida to accept nearly $2.2 billion from Washington to cover the temporary cost of boosting weekly jobless benefits by $25 and adding as many as 20 weeks to the normal 26 weeks workers can collect them.
But they’re justifiably balking at taking another $443 million — about two months worth of payments from Florida’s unemployment-compensation trust fund — in return for permanently changing the way the state calculates benefits and permanently expanding eligibility….
NY: A commenter asks about NYS, NY has a very high benefit level, go to their site HERE for more info…
The governor is pushing a bill that would change the way Maine triggers its extended unemployment benefits, a measure that could bring as much as $38 million in federal funds to pay for up to 13 weeks of additional benefits for jobless Mainers.
The bill requires the creation of a fund of about $500,000 to pay for unemployment benefits of public and tribal employees, people who are prohibited from receiving benefit extensions via the federal economic recovery act. Creating that fund triggers federal stimulus money that would be directed to private sector employees who lost their jobs, according to Capital News Service.
–Tomorrow,(4/8) the General Assembly will vote whether to let Virginia accept an additional $125 million for unemployment insurance benefits from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
This may sound harsh, and it is, (but I am a Hobbesian not a Locke follower, so I expect it to be brutal, LOL) and I will feel the pain, but it is true, and if we do not want to wind up like CA, this is where we are going to have to go..we simply cannot afford to give unemployment to Part Time workers or to workers who quit when their spouse relocates..we cannot keep adding people to programs who do not pay into the system, it is simply unsustainable as demonstrated perfectly by CA right next door…
You cannot escape the pain of the Great Recession by adding new safety net programs, you simply delay the pain, we will lose more jobs if we add UE taxes on employers so we can give new benefits..Gov Perry is right. If Tucson wants to pay for these programs, they can Go to Cali, to Cali to Cali…sing it LL…
An Op-Ed from a Tucson Citizen in the paper of the same name, this citizen wants to expand the safety net as a matter of logic :
I guess that’s why I’ve had difficulty understanding the seeming indifference of Republicans in our state Legislature to the effect of the budget cuts they’re making. I don’t get their stubborn refusal to consider a temporary tax increase – or to even refer the matter to the voters – to preserve basic education, health care and social services.
See, I naively thought that everybody agreed – even those who rail against big government – that times like the ones we’re experiencing now are precisely when government must step in to help its most vulnerable citizens. I thought it was accepted that such times are when government plays its most vital role and does its best work.
No we do not all agree, yes we need the safety net in the post industrial world, but we need it to be sustainable ot the economic collapse we precipitate through our unsustainable actions leads to more loss, the negative cycle again…so, here is the Tough Love our states need to show to get us through the next two years..
…a commentary written by Sen. Jack Harper, R-Surprise, for the March 6 issue of the Arizona Capitol Times.
He outlined the reality of the budget crisis – the state has a $3 billion deficit for fiscal 2010. …
…Harper ended his commentary with a message to those Arizonans who are “underemployed or overexpectant.”
“If you are relying on any services from the state that are not mandated by the federal government, I advise you that those services may end June 30, 2009.
“If you have children that require expensive experimental treatment or therapy that is not provided by the federal government, I advise that the state does not have the money for it after June 30.
“If you have been laid off from your job and are not willing to take a job that is available, unemployment benefits, food stamps and AHCCCS (Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System) for health care are going to fall short of what you could make by being employed.
“Arizona will not follow the country into socialism. If you feel you need greater assistance and are not able to move to another state, please turn to your local churches and give them the opportunity to show their generosity and love.”
The person who wrote the Op Ed thinks this is mean and harsh and hurtful, she apparently does not understand that economic contraction IS harsh and making bad decisions we cannot afford because we feel bad will make it hurt longer….
That’s right, my fellow Arizonans, get off your lazy, free-loading unemployed butts and start digging some ditches or get out of town.
Sen. Scrooge – oops, I mean Sen. Harper – also argued that the state should reject the federal stimulus money that would allow Arizona to increase the maximum unemployment payment from $240 to $265 per week and extend the benefits to more jobless people.
So is Senator Harper just a mean man as the author suggests? No, he is following a model in which we avoid raising business taxes when we will just be coming out of a recession, when the money runs out two years from now:
“This would cause a tax increase on business to keep the fund stable and makes the provision unworkable,” he wrote.
To get the money, states must expand unemployment benefits, such as covering part-time workers who lose their jobs. Texas Gov. Rick Perry said he doesn’t want the stimulus money because his state would have to raise taxes on businesses or cut back on benefits once the federal funding runs out.