Next week West Virginia’s Governor Joe Manchin is requesting that lawmakers qualify the state’s unemployed for an additional 20 weeks of federally funded payments, the Associated Press reported.
According to Senate Majority Leader H. Truman Chafin, the American Recovery Re-Investment Act (AARA) has funding available that would extend unemployment benefits for those who have exhausted their existing benefits. However, the way West Virginia law is currently written, the state does not qualify for additional federal money.
“This requires immediate action so our citizens of W.Va. can obtain an extension of unemployment benefits which are federal funded,” said Chafin.
Approximately 4,000 are jobless in the state according to the National Employment Law Project and benefits could run out as early as October if the funding isn’t extended and the number receiving benefits is expected to continue to steadily rise in the months to come.
Funding for the project will come from the federal stimulus legislation.
Other agenda items at the special meeting will include economic development zone bonds, the $500 state employee bonus, and supplemental budget request from various state departments, Chafin reported.
The special session will begin on Tuesday, while members of the Legisla-ture is at the Capitol for their monthly interim meetings.