Local Delegation VotesTo Pass Legislation To Extend Unemployment Benefits to 17,000 Low-Income Recipients

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BOSTON – The local Legislative Delegation joined their colleagues in the Massachusetts Legislature on Monday, October 26 in passing An Act relative to
additional unemployment benefits for the neediest recipients currently excluded from the Lost Wages Assistance program, which will enhance unemployment benefits for 17,000 people in the Commonwealth by as much as $1,800 each.

“The Senate is laser-focused on assisting those most in need, especially as we continue to tackle the dueling challenges posed by the global pandemic and economic crisis,” said Senate President Karen E. Spilka (Ashland). “This legislation speaks to that commitment and will help assist residents in obtaining lost wages as a result of the ongoing public health emergency. I would like to thank Senators Pat Jehlen, Eric Lesser and Michael Rodrigues, as well as Speaker Robert DeLeo and his colleagues for working to quickly usher this bill to the governor’s desk.”

The Governor signed the legislation into law on Monday.

“As the pandemic continues,” added Rep. Carmine Gentile (Sudbury), “we must make sure our response remains adaptive and leaves no one behind.  This legislation lives up to that promise in its effort to directly help working families when many need the Commonwealth’s support most.”

“Ensuring all of our communities can access needed resources is important to an equitable recovery,” said Rep. Maria Robinson (Framingham). “This legislation takes the important step to provide for those who have lost their jobs and previously unable to access unemployment.”

“This pandemic is exacerbating great social and economic inequities in our communities and across our Commonwealth,” said Rep. Jack Patrick Lewis (Framingham). “This increase in unemployment benefits is an important step in supporting families, but this must be one of many intentional efforts to ensure that our local and statewide recovery is fair and equitable and truly supports those on the margins.”

The legislation authorizes an increase to unemployment compensation for every recipient in Massachusetts not receiving at least $100 in weekly benefits. This enhancement would apply retroactively to approximately 17,000 recipients.

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