SENATE PASSES BILL USING FEDERAL MONIES TO EXTEND CALIFORNIA UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS
Sen. Gilbert Cedillo and colleagues in the Senate unanimously passed two critical bills related to the extension of unemployment benefits this morning on a bipartisan vote. AB 23x3 (Coto) passed 38-0 and extends unemployment benefits by twenty weeks for those who have exhausted the maximum fifty-nine weeks currently available. The bill will now be sent to the Governor's office. AB 29x3 (Coto and Garrick), a Democrat and Republican respectively, also received bipartisan support passing 37-1 and will be sent to the Assembly for concurrence. AB 29x3 establishes an alternative base period for determining benefits allowing earnings as recent as one to three months to be included; the change is crucial for tens of thousands of seasonal workers currently out of work in the state.
"Our immediate action on this issue was necessary to help almost half a million unemployed Californians stay afloat. These bills put to use the estimated $3 billion dollars in federal stimulus monies made available by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA)," remarked Cedillo. "We have a tremendous opportunity to turn our economy around and put federal dollars to work for California. The bipartisan leadership today highlights what we are able to accomplish when we focus on results," Cedillo added.