Senate Passes Legislation to Aid Unemployed as Tens of Thousands Face Loss of Benefits

Liz Krueger

May 19, 2009

Albany, NY—Today, State Senator Liz Krueger praised the New York State Senate for passing critical legislation (S.4110-A) which will provide an additional 13 weeks of extended unemployment benefits to nearly 120,000 current or soon-to-be unemployed New Yorkers. 

"With the economy still struggling it was essential that this legislation get passed immediately," said Senator Krueger.  "Thousands of New Yorkers, many of whom are receiving unemployment benefits for the first time in their life, were about to lose their benefits.  Now these people will have an opportunity to find fair paying jobs and get back on their feet."

Presently, unemployment benefits for approximately 56,000 jobless New York residents are set to expire starting this week and nearly 5,000 people will lose benefits every week over the next 2-3 months.

New York will receive more than $645 million through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 to extend unemployment benefits for an additional 13 weeks to those currently unemployed. 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.

Senator Krueger added, “Helping those who have lost their jobs maintain a stable income is a great way to invest in the economy. I am proud to have supported this legislation and will continue to work to help those who have been hit hardest by this economic crisis."