After Congress failed to strike a deal to extend a federally funded $600 weekly benefit, on August 8th President Trump signed an executive order extending unemployment benefits.
The amount of the extension plan which will be either $300 or $400 hinges upon the decision of each state’s governor. The President’s plan, each state is required to cover $100 of the cost in order to receive the extra federal benefit dollars.
At a press conference at the State House on Tuesday, Gov. Baker said “We did submit a letter to the feds saying that we would apply to receive funds under that program. If this program is there and it turns out to be the only thing that’s there, I don’t think Massachusetts should pass on that.”
With 500,000 in Massachusetts without jobs due to the pandemic, it would be a boon considering federal benefits had ended in July leaving many without a livable income.
In order for Massachusetts do agree to the President’s plan and come up with the $100 per claimant, Gov. Baker said it would entail dipping into emergency aid provided in the CARES Act.
Arizona, Colorado, Iowa, Louisiana, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Mexico, and Utah are the first states to receive federal approval for the funding. and only South Dakota has declined.