Senate Votes to Extend Unemployment Benefits to 9 months

Darrel J. Aubertine

May 19, 2009

Aubertine: Legislation protects the unemployed as lawmakers work to turn the economy around

ALBANY (May 19, 2009)—State Sen. Darrel J. Aubertine and the New York State Senate today passed legislation to extend unemployment benefits an additional 13 weeks for an estimated 120,000 unemployed New Yorkers.

“This legislation will keep thousands of unemployed New Yorkers, including many in Central and Northern New York, afloat for three more months in these difficult economic times,” Sen. Aubertine said. “This short term protection will protect families, while we continue to take action that will stimulate our economy and move into a brighter future.”

Presently, unemployment benefits for approximately 56,000 jobless New York residents are set to expire starting this week; nearly 5,000 people will lose benefits every week over the next 2-3 months. The extended benefits are being funded through more than $645 million in funding through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

“We are working to target federal stimulus dollars to preserve and create jobs through critical funding for our schools, infrastructure improvements and investments that will help create jobs for the future of our economy,” Sen. Aubertine said. “In the meantime, is important we protect the workers and the families who have been directly impacted by the economic downturn. This legislation does just.”

Additionally, federal stimulus dollars will also stabilize New York’s Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund, which pays out all benefits for unemployed workers. Because of the rising unemployment rates, with more than 160,000 jobs lost in the last year alone, that fund has been running in deficit since January of this year.