Assemblymember Bronson: Assembly Passes Legislation Extending Unemployment Benefits

Assemblymember Harry B. Bronson (D-Rochester/Chili/Riga/Rush/Wheatland)

announced the Assembly passed legislation he sponsored to help unemployed New Yorkers receive extended federally funded unemployment insurance benefits through 2011 (A.6091). The bill awaits Senate passage.

“It’s crucial that we extend unemployment benefits to foster economic growth and ensure that Monroe County residents receive the support they need while continuing their job search,” Bronson said.

In May 2009, the Assembly enacted legislation that allowed New York State to receive a federal grant of $645 million for unemployment compensation. The law extended jobless benefits for an additional 13 weeks, bringing the total to 72 weeks of benefits. In December 2010, Congress extended the federally funded program for an additional year.

The new bill will amend state law and allow New York to qualify for a third year in the program. It is estimated that 166,000 unemployed New Yorkers will be affected by this legislation.

“This is common-sense legislation,” Bronson said. “Without this measure, our state would be passing on an estimated $620 million in federally funded unemployment insurance benefits.”

Last month marked the country’s lowest level of unemployment in nearly two years, falling to 8.9 percent. It was reported that the unemployment rate has experienced its most rapid improvement in nearly 28 years, falling a full percentage point in the past three months. Monroe County reported its unemployment rates have declined to 8.2 percent.

“It’s encouraging to see that the unemployment rate is declining,” Bronson said. “However, there are many residents in Monroe County who are still struggling to find a job. The market will take some time to recover, and it’s vital that we do all that we can to support out-of-work families.”