Dems Urge Ducey To Boost State Unemployment Benefits

Published: Wednesday, July 29, 2020 - 6:29pm

State Reps. Diego Rodriguez and Isela Blanc say Gov. Doug Ducey should extend and increase Arizona’s unemployment benefits, at least until Congress decides if they’ll extend federal benefits for those impacted by COVID-19.

Supplemental unemployment benefits, provided through the federal CARES Act, have meant an additional $600 per week for Arizonans who qualify.

But it’s the last week those additional dollars will help cover their expenses. The federal program expires on Friday.

Rodriguez, a Phoenix Democrat, said Arizonans can ill afford to lose those extra dollars.

“Unemployment benefits have been an economic boost and lifeline for our state and pulling the rug out now will be a disaster, especially for our hardest-hit Latino and indigenous communities," he said in a statement.

Last week, Ducey said he wouldn’t take action and alter Arizona’s own unemployment benefits before Congress makes up its mind.

“I want to see what Congress is gonna do, and they're going to do something this week,” he said on July 23.

The governor also pointed to a letter he sent to Arizona’s congressional delegation urging them to extend federal benefits to those impacted by COVID-19.

Arizona’s unemployment benefits are capped at $240 per week, the second-lowest amount in the nation.

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