SB 247 passes Committee on a vote of 5-1
FACT: 57,578 people in Colorado are receiving unemployment insurance benefits every week.
FACT: The unemployment insurance fund will fall close to insolvency near the end of FY 09-10.
FACT: This fund is expected to hit close to $45 million near the end of FY 09-10.
FACT: SB 247 will help Colorado make small but significant changes to its unemployment eligibility.
FACT: In doing so, SB 247 will help Colorado draw down close to $128 million in federal aid from the federal stimulus money.
People in Colorado need help when they are unemployed and Colorado needs help supporting them. That’s why SB 247, sponsored by Senator Lois Tochtrop (D-Thornton), is so important and that’s why it passed Business, Labor and Technology Committee today on a vote of 5 to 1.
“It is during times like these, when more and more people are losing their jobs, we need to make sure we can help Coloradans as best we can,” said Sen. Tochtrop. “We can do that by protecting workers who lose their job and getting them job training to help them get a job with a future. If we can do that by drawing down over $127 million federal money- even better.”
SB 247 will do the following things:
• Adopt an Alternative Base Period (ABP) which helps low-wage workers qualify for unemployment benefits. If a worker doesn’t qualify using the traditional base period because he or she doesn’t have sufficient earnings in that period, the ABP would help qualify more workers who need unemployment insurance (UI) benefits. (FACT: Low wage workers make up nearly 6 out of 10 of those who need ABP to qualify for UI benefits.)
• Improves unemployment insurance eligibility in the following areas:
1. Modifies eligibility for unemployment benefits when a worker separates from a job due to domestic violence.
2. Expands compelling family reason to include a worker who quits a job to follow a spouse whose employment location has changed.
3. Restructures Colorado’s good cause exemption for workers who are separated from a job to care for an ill or disabled immediate family member.
4. Temporary enhanced unemployment benefits for workers involved in re-training for green jobs, high-demand occupations or more stable employment.
SB 247 will head to Senate Appropriations Committee next.