As the US Senate ponders whether to extend unemployment benefits, jobless Wisconsinites wait anxiously.
State Labor Secretary Roberta Gassman is disappointed with the delays in Washington, and is eagerly awaiting another extension of the unemployment insurance benefits. “These benefits provide a lifeline for people who are out of work, and not only do people then get some stability to pay their basic bills and take care of themselves, that brings more security to their families, they are able to buy things in their communities so the dollars actually get re-circulated, and they help our businesses and that helps our economy.”
The US House of Representatives recently approved a bill to extend benefits for those without a job, but the U-S Senate failed to take action before its July 4th recess. Members are expected to take up the bill any time now. “Right now in the state because of the delay in Congress of passing another extension we’ve had about 50,000 people who have, just in the last few weeks, lost their unemployment insurance.”
Even with an extension, Gassman points out that many unemployed Wisconsinites have exhausted their eligibility for benefits. She suggests claimants continue to file weekly claims. Gassman says her office is committed to helping people who have exhausted their benefits.