TRENTON – Senator Shirley Turner (D- Mercer) has introduced a resolution calling on Congress to enact legislation to extend unemployment insurance benefits to those who have lost their jobs.
“While the national unemployment rate has thankfully been dropping, the fact remains that far too many of our family and friends remain unemployed,” said Turner. “We all know people who have lost their jobs. They are good, dedicated, hard working individuals who, usually through no fault of their own, have fallen on hard times. Their unemployment benefits are in many cases the only thing keeping them afloat as they desperately seek work. Congress must pass an extension, and they need to do it now.”
The federal program of extended unemployment benefits will expire on December 31st if Congress does not act to extend this essential lifeline to the unemployed workers in New Jersey and throughout the United States. If Congress fails to renew the program, 1.8 million workers who currently receive or would receive unemployment benefits nationally will no longer receive this vital support in January of 2012 alone. Moreover, throughout 2012, an estimated six million workers will not have access to federal unemployment benefits unless the program is renewed. Had Congress failed to extend unemployment benefits in 2010, an estimated 3.2 million people, including almost one million children, would have fallen into poverty.
Senator Turner is also the sponsor of SR203, which calls on the Congress to support President Obama’s proposed extension of cuts to the payroll tax. Recent media reports indicate that the average New Jersey worker saved approximately $872 through these cuts, far greater than the national average.
“We are doing our best in New Jersey to provide jobs and economic growth, but we can only do so much. We need Congress to step up and support the President’s proposal. The payroll tax cut has unquestionably provided relief to middle class taxpayers and working families. That, in conjunction with extended unemployment benefits, will help those who are struggling during this economic downturn,” said Turner.