Texas Legislature Must Act to Extend UI Benefits for 70,000 Texans--Paid for Entirely by Feds

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Don Baylor /(512) 320-0222 x 108

May 14, 2009

Emergency Unemployment Compensation / UI Modernization Impact by Legislative District >>  
Policy Page: Legislature Must Act to Extend UI Benefits for 70,000 Texans >>  

As of May 5, more than 353,000 Texans were receiving unemployment benefits, more than triple the number of Texans receiving UI benefits a year ago. Currently pending in House Calendars, SB 1569 strengthens our UI system to protect unemployed Texans and qualifies Texas for $555 million in federal funding through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) for our UI Trust Fund. But the Legislature has overlooked an entirely separate pot of money in the ARRA that is equally important. About 70,000 Texans are expected to exhaust their UI beginning in July 2009. ARRA will pick up 100 percent of the costs to extend UI for these Texans, bringing about $250 million in federal funds into the Texas economy with no strings attached.