Edwards Reaches Deal With Legislature on Unemployment Benefits
Governor John Bel Edwards has reached a deal with Louisiana lawmakers to give up federal unemployment benefits early.
The federal government has been giving unemployed Louisiana residents an extra $300 per week of benefits to help stimulate the economy. However, many lawmakers believe this has had the opposite effect and many employers think it's keeping potential employees out of the workforce.
As many as 25 other states have announced similar plans to get out of the federal unemployment enhancement benefits before the program ends on September 6.
Louisiana's current max weekly unemployment benefit is $247 per week, which ranks among the bottom percentile in the nation. A bill was proposed on the last day of the Louisiana legislative session that would add $28 to the state's unemployment benefit packages. That would bring the max weekly unemployment benefit to $300 per week. If passed, it will not take effect until the state actually drops out of the federal unemployment enhancement program.
Edwards has commissioned former Revenue Estimating Conference economist, Jim Richardson, to report back to him regarding the pros and cons of the proposed bill to opt out early from the federal unemployment enhancement program. Gov. Edwards also said if Louisiana does opt out early, it would probably be at the end of July or August since most children would be back at school, which would relieve struggling families from extra child care costs of the summer months.