EGAN, BENSON & DeANGELO BILL TO ENSURE CONTINUED UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS FOR OUT-OF-WORK NEW JERSEYANS RELEASED BY ASSEMBLY PANEL

(TRENTON) — Legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Joseph Egan, Daniel Benson and Wayne DeAngelo to take advantage of a federal law that allows laid-off workers in New Jersey to continue to receive extended unemployment benefits for much, if not all, of 2011, was unanimously released Monday by an Assembly panel.

The bill (A-3795) implements an option provided by the federal Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010 to allow extended benefits.

The federal option makes it likely that extended benefits will be continued, because the unemployment rate in New Jersey would have to be no more than 110% of the 2008 jobless rates of between 4.2 percent to 6.0 percent, far below the current rate of 9.1 percent.

“Ensuring continued assistance for out-of-work New Jerseyans is an absolute must,” said Egan (D-Middlesex). “This an important step toward ensuring working class New Jerseyans get sustained help when they need it most.”

“Ensuring out-of-work New Jerseyans on extended unemployment can receive their benefits throughout most, if not all, of this year, is the right thing to do,” said Benson (D-Mercer/Middlesex) “We can’t sit idly by. We need to take advantage of any federal program that will help our workers in their time of need.”

“We must utilize every opportunity we can to keep out-of-work New Jerseyans afloat until the economy rebounds,” DeAngelo said. “We cannot turn our backs on a simple step that can extend benefits. We must ensure workers who find themselves unemployed for long periods can they help they so direly need.”

The bill was released by the Assembly Commerce and Economic Development Committee.