Oregon: (Ahem!) Don’t Forget That Unemployment Extension
Senate leaders are only too aware that, amidst the nation’s jobs crisis, the filing deadline for emergency unemployment benefits is less than two weeks away. Oregon Sens. Ron Wyden (D) and Jeff Merkley (D) offered a gentle reminder Friday, warning Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) that a failure to quickly pass an extension would “only dampen and delay the economic recovery.”
As the deadline nears, state agencies will begin to send out notices for the termination of benefits, re-program their benefit systems, and develop contingency plans for handling claimants whose benefits are terminated. If Congress does not act to extend benefits now, agencies that administer benefits and families who depend on them will have these essential safety nets pulled out from under them.
Though they don’t specify a timeframe in their request, both Wyden and Merkley were a part of last month’s Democratic push to extend the UI filing deadline through the end of 2010. Their motivation is clear: Oregon’s unemployment rate, at 11 percent, is well above the national average.