WASHINGTON, D.C. — Minnesotans would see their unemployment benefits extended for an additional 14 weeks under a bill introduced today in the Senate.
A similar bill, passed in the House, extended unemployment benefits only in states with unemployment levels of 8.5 percent or above. Minnesota, with an unemployment rate of about 8 percent, fell below that threshold.
But, in the Senate, the bill faced pressure, including Minnesota Sens. Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken, who did not want to see their states excluded.
Ultimately, Senate leaders and the Senate Finance Committee chose to give states with unemployment levels lower than 8.5 percent an additional 14 weeks of benefits. Meanwhile, states with the higher unemployment rates would see their benefits extended by 20 weeks.
Klobuchar today drew attention to her work to have Minnesota’s unemployment benefits extended along with other states in the country:
“I fought to make sure that Minnesota was included in the extension of unemployment benefit. Many Minnesotans are trying desperately to find a job, and it is important that those who have exhausted their unemployment benefits continue to receive relief.”