Open States' stated mission is to improve civic engagement.
To be true to that goal, we can not stand by and be silent when a large portion of Americans face systemic racism and other forms of oppression. That oppression has meant being excluded from civic participation at the ballot box, being called un-American for peaceful protests, and being denied justice for crimes committed against them.
Existing law provides for the payment of unemployment compensation benefits to eligible persons who are unemployed through no fault of their own through a federal-state unemployment insurance program administered by the Employment Development Department. Unemployment compensation benefits are paid from the Unemployment Fund, which is continuously appropriated for this purpose. Under existing law, unemployment compensation benefits are based on wages paid in a base period that is calculated according to the month within which the benefit year begins. Existing law provides that a weekly unemployment compensation benefit amount may be paid to an individual whose highest wages in the quarter of their base period exceeded $900, but a weekly benefit amount may not exceed $450. Existing law requires the Director of Employment Development to maintain a separate reserve account for each employer, and to charge unemployment compensation benefits paid to an unemployed individual during any benefit year against the reserve account of that individual's employer during the individual's base period.
Existing law, the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) , among other things, provides Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation in the amount of $600 per week in addition to the weekly benefit amount paid to eligible persons under the state unemployment compensation law if the state enters into a specified agreement with the United States Secretary of Labor. The CARES Act provides for full reimbursement by the federal government for the total amount of Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation paid to individuals by the state pursuant to the agreement.
This bill would provide, until July 1, 2022, following the termination of the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation amount provided pursuant to the CARES Act or any other federal supplemental unemployment compensation payments for unemployment due to the COVID-19 pandemic, that an individual's weekly benefit amount as otherwise provided for by existing unemployment compensation law be increased by $100 for the remainder of the duration of time the individual is entitled to receive benefits with respect to a valid claim for a benefit year, notwithstanding the weekly benefits cap. The bill would prohibit any unemployment compensation benefits authorized by the bill to be charged against the reserve account of any employer.
This bill would also provide, until July 1, 2022, that for any new claims filed with an effective date on or after July 1, 2020, an individual's weekly benefit amount shall not be less than $167. The bill would specify that its provisions do not impact the maximum amount of unemployment compensation benefits payable to an individual or any nonmonetary eligibility criteria, as specified.
Because this bill would authorize additional benefits to be paid from the Unemployment Fund, which is continuously appropriated, it would make an appropriation.
Bill Sponsors (1)
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May 07, 2020
In committee: Set, first hearing. Hearing canceled at the request of author.