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Senator Hassan Calls for Continued Support for States’ Unemployment Insurance Programs Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

In Hearing with Labor Secretary, Senator Hassan Also Raises Importance of Paid Leave Programs

WASHINGTON – In a Senate Finance Committee hearing today, U.S. Senator Maggie Hassan raised with Department of Labor Secretary Eugene Scalia the importance of continuing to support states with their expanded unemployment insurance programs amid the COVID-19 pandemic, and ensure that all Granite Staters and Americans receive much-needed financial support during this challenging time.


To watch the Senator’s questioning, click here.


“As Congress responds to the impacts of COVID-19, one of the main issues that I hear about from New Hampshire constituents is delays in receiving unemployment benefits,” Senator Hassan said. “New Hampshire is one of several states still working to fully implement the expanded unemployment benefits under the CARES Act. As issues arise, I hope that the Department of Labor will continue to support the state and help ensure that New Hampshire workers quickly receive the support that they need.”


During her questioning, Senator Hassan discussed how expanded unemployment insurance is critical in both providing financial support for individuals who cannot find work, while also giving those who are at high risk from COVID-19 the financial support to stay home.   


Additionally, the Senator highlighted concerns that workers may not be aware of the expanded emergency paid leave options that Congress passed into law earlier this year: “Access to paid sick leave is an important public health tool to encourage workers to stay home if they are sick without losing their paychecks or jobs. The Department of Labor is tasked with ensuring that workers are aware of their rights to paid leave, but data has indicated that many workers who are eligible for this leave are unaware of this new program.”


Lastly, the Senator raised the importance of investing in workforce training programs as part of the country’s economic recovery: “We’re going to need to think about how our workforce systems can help get workers who have been dislocated by COVID-19 back to work and what kind of additional federal resources will be necessary to support these workforce training and reemployment activities.”


Senator Hassan has been working to support Granite Staters and all Americans throughout this unprecedented pandemic, and voted in favor of COVID-19 relief legislation that significantly expanded unemployment insurance and emergency paid leave for many workers. The Senator also joined her colleagues in pushing for critical workforce development and career and technical education funding in the next COVID-19 relief bill.