The U.S. Congress invited states to keep the EB program from expiring prematurely. In December, shortly after Congress passed a law reauthorizing federal unemployment programs for a full year, the U.S. Department of Labor sent a memo to state workforce agencies advising them that they'd lose eligibility for these federal benefits unless local legislatures took action. The memo explained exactly what lawmakers would need to do to take advantage of the new law and even provided draft language for new state legislation.
"For this reason, we know that every state agency was on notice about the need to adopt the new federal option," emailed Attorney Rick McHugh of the National Employment Law Project, a New York-based worker advocacy group. McHugh suggested a few contributing factors for why some states had allowed the EB program to lapse. "[M]ost state agencies have suffered many retirements of experienced staff and are still working under severe claims load. How information gets transmitted from [workforce] agencies to governors and legislators varies widely by state. And, the fact that most public officials won't listen to you more than 30 seconds, means this is an issue that gets filtered out."
"Finally," McHugh wrote, "some states do not make taking care of jobless workers a big priority."
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