Madden Bill To Allow New Jersey To Receive Federal Stimulus Dollars For Unemployment Insurance Clears Senate

TRENTON – A measure sponsored by Senator Fred H. Madden which would amend the State’s unemployment insurance law to allow New Jersey to receive its share of the federal “American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009” (federal stimulus package) received unanimous final legislative approval today from the full Senate.

“This measure would put New Jersey in position to receive $207 million from the federal government for our unemployment fund,” said Senator Madden, D-Camden and Gloucester, who chairs the Senate Labor Committee. “It’s no secret that we’re in tough economic times, and with more and more people out of work, the State would definitely benefit from these federal funds; however, the only way to receive them is to make sure that we’re in full compliance with all of the stimulus package’s requirements. Repealing this cap would put us in full compliance, by ensuring that the State’s additional unemployment benefits during training (ABT) programs are permanent.”

Senator Madden’s bill, S-2640, would eliminate the current off-trigger within State ABT programs, which rejects all new applications of unemployed workers who are making satisfactory progress in State-approved job training programs, whenever the total amount of ABT payments exceeds 2% of the annual balance of the State unemployment fund.

Senator Madden noted that this legislation would have no practical effect on the unemployment fund, because the amount of ABT payments has never been high enough to stop benefits.

This measure now heads to the Governor’s desk where his signature would make it State law.

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