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California could make its own contribution to jobless coronaviruses



As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to harm California’s economy, state lawmakers are considering whether to provide a supplementary unemployment benefit, with the federal government expiring this month with an additional $ 600 a week.

Assembly Phil Ting (D-San Francisco), leader of the Legislative Task Force, said there was support among Democratic lawmakers in providing up to $ 600 a week for unemployed Californians if Congress did not act to expand the federal pandemic advantage.

“There are so many people who rely on this money to pay rent, buy food. I think that the state must do everything in its power to help them pay the bills, “said Ting, chairman of the Assembly̵

7;s budget committee.

By the end of the federal supplement on July 25, state unemployment control will return to a weekly average of $ 340 unless the state or federal government renews supplementary benefits.

The money for any extended benefits would be borrowed from a federal trust fund that already covers the state’s cost of paying unemployment benefits to millions of Californians who lost their jobs after the state ordered residents to stay home in March to stop the virus from spreading. .

California has borrowed $ 6.5 billion from the Federal Trust Fund to pay off an unprecedented number of claims filed since March. During the Great Recession ten years ago, the state borrowed $ 10.7 billion to pay unemployment benefits and did not complete its refund until 2018 by raising taxes from employers.

Ting and 25 other members of the state senate and assembly working in working groups raised the issue as part of a joint $ 100 billion stimulus plan to protect Californians and stimulate job creation. The draft plan includes a proposal to “borrow from the federal government to support state unemployment insurance programs.”

The proposed stimulus plan will be provided to Gov Gavin Newsom and the Economic Recovery Working Group set up to address the effects of the pandemic recession in the state.

“Millions of Californians are suffering from this economic downturn and Republicans in Washington do not seem to care,” said Assembly spokesman Anthony Rendon (DLakewood) said the stimulus plan had been released.

Government officials on Gavin Newsom on Tuesday did not respond to requests for comments on whether to support the state providing supplementary unemployment benefits. Newsom said on Friday that he hopes House speaker Nancy Pelosi will meet at a congress to provide more financial assistance to unemployed Californians.

“I have deep confidence in its ability to pull something important, to pull something that directly solves the problem not only of unemployment insurance, but also of gaining checks in the pockets of those affected by COVID-19,” Newsom said. .

On Monday, Republicans in the U.S. Senate proposed a package that would reduce increased federal unemployment payments from $ 600 a week to $ 200 after some lawmakers argued that higher payments gave many low-paid workers more money than they received at work, providing discouraging return to work.

A proposal to reduce the supplement to $ 200 would create financial difficulties for many California low-income families.

The Republican Senate’s proposal is now under discussion with domestic Democrats, who have proposed extending the $ 600 unemployment benefit.

California would not have to provide additional funding if the federal government resumed $ 600 payments, Ting said, but said that if aid to Washington did not help, the state should join.

“We know that this money was important enough to keep the number of evictions lower than we imagined,” Ting said. “The last thing we should do is deepen the problem of the homeless. We don’t need thousands more California on our streets today. “

Money borrowed from the Federal Unemployment Trust Fund will be returned in the coming years with increased taxes on employers.

The additional aid money approved by Congress meant that the average weekly benefit for Californians rose to $ 940 in April, while those who received maximum weekly state benefits rose to $ 1,050.

So far, California has paid out about $ 50 billion in unemployment in March, processing 8.7 million jobs from unemployed Californians.

An increase in jobless benefits would occur even when legislators on both sides criticized the work of a state agency that approves applications and pays unemployment benefits.

State Senate Shannon Grove of Bakersfield on Tuesday criticized Democratic lawmakers for canceling a committee meeting that would allow lawmakers to order an audit of the state’s employment development department.

The audit was designed in response to complaints from California unemployed who were unable to claim unemployment benefits due to congested state telephone lines and computer malfunctions.

“California Democrats have killed an opportunity to audit EDD, which would help millions of frustrated Californians,” Grove said. “This audit would be an opportunity to get answers.”




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