Simpson Calls on Labor Head to Return to Pre-Pandemic Guidelines on Unemployment

Editor’s Note: See attached letter to Labor Commissioner Reardon

Assemblyman Matt Simpson (R,C,I-Horicon) wrote a letter to Labor Commissioner Roberta Reardon calling for pre-pandemic work search requirements to become effective immediately. New York state and the nation are well over a year into the pandemic and we are seeing a rebound from the devastating economic impacts COVID-19 had as cases continue to decrease. Unemployment benefits have been extended and increased throughout the pandemic, but many believe we need to encourage people to get back to the workplace and take the stress off our unemployment system for those who are truly in need.

“In my letter to Commissioner Reardon, I made it clear that at the beginning of the pandemic, unemployment benefits were an important safeguard for the hard-working men and women of the North Country,” said Simpson. “But as we begin our economic and social revival, our businesses need to have a full workforce to meet the increased and pent-up demand.

“I have had too many small-business owners call my office saying they cannot fill positions because people would rather stay on unemployment, stating they make more than they would working. Unfortunately, at this point in time the increased and extended unemployment benefits have created a reverse-incentive and could prove costly for our small-business owners who have done an exceptional job navigating the pandemic.

“I want the men and women of the 114th Assembly District to be back in the workplace as we get our local economy to come roaring back. Therefore, Commissioner Reardon should return unemployment benefits and their application/acceptance process back to the pre-pandemic model. Unemployment must be for those truly in need, not for people to stay at home and collect a check with no plan of returning to work. Many states have already returned to pre-pandemic unemployment laws, including neighboring Vermont,” concluded Simpson.