Senator Breslin Helps Protect Unemployed New Yorkers

Neil D. Breslin

May 20, 2009

For Immediate Release: May 20, 2009

Senate passes legislation to aid unemployed as tens of thousands face loss of benefits

Today, State Senator Breslin announced that the New York State Senate passed critical legislation (S.4110-A) that will provide an additional 13 weeks of extended benefits to nearly 120,000 currently unemployed New Yorkers. 

This legislation comes at a time when our economy is struggling, as Senator Breslin and his colleagues in the Majority are working to turn the economy around and help people find new, fair paying jobs.

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 benefits of this legislation are significant for everyone involved. The recipients are people who, often through no fault of their own, find themselves without a job today, ” said Senator Breslin.  “This legislation provides New Yorkers with vital assistance at a difficult time, keeping them afloat and off public assistance rolls. We’re taking the necessary steps to put our economy back on solid fiscal ground, but that won’t happen overnight. This legislation is a win-win for the taxpayer and our economy because it helps us keep our economy moving forward.”

New York will receive more than $645 million through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, funding that will be used 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 Breslin added, “In simplest terms, this is investing back into our economy by helping those who have lost their jobs get back on their feet. Losing one’s job takes an economic and emotional toll. I am proud to have supported this legislation and will continue my work to help clean up the economic mess that we inherited and put people back to work.”