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Blog: Bipartisan bill will extend unemployment benefits for Oregonians
Photos and Story by Dana Haynes
Everyone’s always complaining about the partisan bickering in Salem (except for those of us who recognize it’s really the good, healthy give-and-take over policy issues). So OK: here’s an example of bipartisanship for you.
Today, Republicans and Democrats joined together to increase unemployment benefits for Oregonians who exhaust their federal unemployment.
“More than 250,000 Oregonians are still struggling to find work in this beleaguered economy,” said Sen. Bruce Starr, a Republican whose district includes much of the same area served by the Rock Creek Campus.
“More than 7,000 of them are dangerously close to losing their unemployment benefits, leaving them with few resources to pay rent and buy groceries,” Starr said. “This bill gives them a little more time and a little peace of mind until they can find a job.”
Sen. Diane Rosenbaum agrees. She represents an area that is served by the Southeast Center. “Oregonians have been losing jobs for almost a year now,” she said. “Meanwhile, the global financial meltdown has only made things tougher out there. This benefit extension will keep additional Oregon families from falling through the cracks.”
The $57 million in additional payments authorized by the bill during the next two years are funded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (you know it as the federal economic stimulus bill).
Currently, an unemployed person can receive a maximum of 26 weeks of regular unemployment benefits and an additional 53 weeks of emergency benefits for a maximum total of 79 weeks of benefits. The bill is expected to help more than 7,000 Oregonians.
Be they Republicans, Democrats or any other flavor of Oregonian.
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