(TRENTON) – To support the people of New Jersey who have lost their jobs due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Assembly Democrats Joseph Egan (D-Middlesex, Somerset), John Armato (D-Atlantic), and Joann Downey (D-Monmouth) sponsor legislation passed by the Assembly 79-0 and Senate 40-0 on Thursday to provide eight weeks of emergency unemployment benefits from December 22, 2020 through February 27, 2021.
“The people of New Jersey need help now,” said Assemblyman Egan. “COVID-19 continues to strain our workforce. The public health crisis will continue for foreseeable future and these additional benefits will help families put food on the table and keep a roof above their heads.”
The COVID-19 pandemic has devastated many in New Jersey. Over 1.8 million residents have filed for unemployment since March and local businesses continue to struggle. The bill (A-5151) will provide emergency unemployment benefits to those who have exhausted their regular or extended state unemployment benefits and any other federal benefits.
“Although we can finally see the first glimmers of the end to this pandemic, families and businesses hit hardest have a long road to economic recovery,” said Assemblyman Armato. “With experts predicting increasing spikes in COVID, the upcoming months will continue to be difficult.
The Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund would provide over $300 million to support the people who will be losing their previously extended unemployment benefits. The main purpose of this bill is to pick up where the previous extension left off and further assist the people of New Jersey who are struggling with unemployment due to the pandemic.
“Business hardships will linger even as our unemployed neighbors return to their jobs as the State recovers from the pandemic,” said Assemblywoman Downey. “We must do what we can to build a bridge to get folks over these next several months, and help them to begin the recovery process.”
The bill now goes to the Governor for further consideration.