Republicans and Democrats help unemployed

Joint Senate Democrat and Senate Republican
Press Release

OR — Senate Republicans and Democrats joined together Wednesday to pass House Bill 2203, extending Unemployment Insurance benefits to individuals who have exhausted their federal Emergency Unemployment Compensation benefits. “More than 250,000 Oregonians are still struggling to find work in this beleaguered economy,” said Senator Bruce Starr (R-Hillsboro).
“More than 7,000 of them are dangerously close to losing their unemployment benefits, leaving them with few resources to pay rent and buy groceries. This bill gives them a little more time and a little peace of mind until they can find a job.” The approximately $57 million in additional payments authorized by the bill over the next two years are funded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

Currently, an unemployed individual can receive a maximum of 26 weeks of regular unemployment benefits and an additional 53 weeks of emergency benefits for a maximum total of 79 weeks of benefits. This bill allows more than 7,000 Oregonians who had exhausted emergency benefits before the federal government passed the extension through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to qualify for up to an additional 20 weeks of benefits.

“Oregonians have been losing jobs for almost a year now,” said Senator Diane Rosenbaum (DPortland), who carried the bill on the floor. “Meanwhile, the global financial meltdown has only made things tougher out there. This benefit extension will keep additional Oregon families from falling through the cracks.” The bill now heads to the Governor for a signature.

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