Senator Huntley Helps Protect Unemployed New Yorkers

Shirley L. Huntley

May 19, 2009

Senate passes legislation to aid unemployed as tens of thousands face loss of benefits
Today, State Senator Shirley Huntley 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 Huntley and her 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 few months.
“The impact of the current fiscal decline the state has been experiencing has left thousands of my constituents unemployed,” said Senator Huntley. “The benefits of this legislation are significant for everyone involved. It will provide struggling families with much needed support at a difficult time, keeping them afloat and off public assistance rolls.”
New York will receive more than $645 million through the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, 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, the trust fund has been running in deficit since January of this year.
Senator Huntley concluded, “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. 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 the people back to work.”