Arizona Researcher, Lawmaker Call For State Unemployment Reform

Published: Friday, May 22, 2020 - 5:54pm
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Dave Wells
Dave Wells
Matthew Casey/KJZZ
State Rep. Kelli Butler.

A local nonpartisan think tank says Arizona has until August to fix its unemployment system, or people out of work due to the coronavirus face economic devastation.

The extra $600 per week that unemployed Arizonans are now getting from the federal government is scheduled to end July 31.

Then the weekly payout would drop back to a maximum of $240, and the state unemployment rate is projected to be 20%, said Dave Wells, research director at the Grand Canyon Institute.

“It’s just something that’s unprecedented. So it requires real leadership to show that we are ready to rise to the challenge,” he said.

Wells and others joined Democratic state Rep. Kelli Butler for a Friday news conference about problems and gaps in Arizona's unemployment system.

Butler promised to revive reform efforts if lawmakers go back to the Capitol for a special session. 

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