Stimulus Unemployment Update: Arizona changes state law to extend jobless benefits 13 weeks; adds another 7 weeks (emergency bens?)…

The Governor has signed the bill to change the trigger to extend UE in AZ….I wish the journOlists would be clear on how many weeks go to extended benefits under this new trigger and if the second part, the 7 weeks is the emergency benefits DOL is tracking triggers on..I am going with yes until we hear otherwise….


…The Legislature and Brewer have approved a bill to offer 13 to 20 extra weeks in jobless benefits to the long-term unemployed. The state’s jobless rate stands at 7.8 percent with double-digit unemployment in Pinal County, Yuma and Nogales…

East Valley Tribune:

…Gov. Jan Brewer on Friday signed legislation that alters state law to extend jobless benefits by 13 weeks once the unemployment rate hits 6.5 percent and stays there for three months. Arizona already is there, having passed that figure in December.

And the law adds another seven weeks on top of that once the jobless rate hits and stays at 8 percent for three months.

The state Department of Commerce already is predicting that the figures for this month, to be released in May, will reach 8 percent. And Dennis Doby, the agency’s senior director of research administration, is saying unemployment will only go up from for the foreseeable future.

Brewer had urged lawmakers to make the change once it was determined that any extra cost will be picked up entirely by the federal government. The funds are part of the stimulus package, formally known as the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, signed into law in February by President Barack Obama.

Arizona provides 26 weeks of unemployment benefits paid for by a tax on state employers. Other federally funded programs already have extended that another 33 weeks.

Liz Barker, spokeswoman for the Department of Economic Security, said the most immediate beneficiaries will be about 7,000 people who already have exhausted their 59 weeks of payments…

April 27, 2009. Tags: , , , , , , . Economy, Finance, Labor Department, Uncategorized, Unemployment Statistics. 10 comments.

Stimulus Unemployment 13 week Extension Update…

Ahh FINALLY, some clarity on WTH is going on with the 13 week unemployment benefits extension in the states.

Dissecting this piece in the AZ Republic we get to the bottom of how states have to qualify:

Arizona has an opportunity to take advantage of an additional 13 weeks of federal unemployment benefits that could help more than 33,000 residents this year, but lawmakers have been hesitant to accept the funds. Getting the federal stimulus money requires action by the Legislature by the end of its session this spring…

A change in state law on what would trigger the extended benefits is needed to take the money. Arizona officials were confused over contradictory information they had received about whether they could change the law back to keep the state from having to pay the extended benefits once the federal dollars run out.

Although the state and federal government usually split the cost of extended benefits, federal stimulus dollars would pay 100 percent in this case...

So WTH is the delay? Well the state legislators are afraid of hidden strings and who can blame them with Congress Critters running wild changing roolz midgame left and right, Congress is creating this problem just as it is with TALF everyone is afraid to participate.

We have no less than 7 members of the Congressional Black Caucus trying to normalize relations with Cuba while Rev Al and vote fraud riddled ACORN demand OUR ELECTED Sheriff resign is insane…now it is affecting our UE extensions =nationwide= because no one trusts these maroons in D.C….

In addition to having concerns over any long-term consequences, many Arizona lawmakers are leery of requirements from Washington. Federal officials said Arizona can reverse the law. The state can add a “sunset clause” into the legislation that “ends the benefits when 100 percent of federal funding ends,” said Peggy Abrahamson, a Labor Department spokeswoman…

…Arizona lawmakers are still studying the details of the sunset provision. “If we can sunset it when the federal money goes away, fine,” said House Appropriations Chairman John Kavanagh, R-Fountain Hills….

Here is the guts of the extension provision:

The change in state law necessary to receive the funds would include wording that would trigger 13 weeks of extended benefits whenever the unemployment rate exceeds 6.5 percent over a three-month period.

Current AZ benefits:

Arizonans are currently eligible to receive up to 59 weeks of unemployment benefits. The average length of time collecting benefits is between 16 and 17 weeks, according to the Arizona Department of Economic Security….Jobless benefits in the state, including a recent $25 addition by the federal government, total a maximum of $265 a week…

Additional UE EXPANSION to P/T workers and some voluntary terminations are still being debated in AZ, but I cannot see it passing here, one of our state legislators already announced we ‘would not follow the nation into socialism’ and told constituents to move out if they think they need more funds and social services after June 2009:

…In a separate matter, House Democrats on Monday called for Brewer to accept $132 million from the federal government for Arizona to modernize its unemployment insurance system…Changes could include providing unemployment benefits to part-time workers or those in job-training programs and allowing unemployment-insurance eligibility to be extended…

April 9, 2009. Tags: , , , , , , , . Economy, Labor Department, Uncategorized, Unemployment Statistics. 3 comments.

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