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Report: Pa. may ask Washington for help paying enhanced unemployment benefits

By: - August 10, 2020 4:07 pm

Jobless workers demonstrate in Miami Springs in support of continued federal unemployment benefits in the pandemic economy. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Pennsylvania officials have reached out to the U.S. Department of Labor for a loan to bolster its unemployment trust fund as President Donald Trump pushes state governments to pick up an increased share of enhanced benefits, according to a published report.

The Associated Press reports:

Gov. Tom Wolf’s office said it was waiting for federal guidance to understand the full impact of Trump’s executive order. But, it said, reducing the benefit from $600 a week to $400 a week will make it harder for families to get by during the pandemic.

It places a larger financial burden on states, the administration said, noting that it has inquired about a federal loan as a precautionary measure.

It’s not clear whether Trump has the constitutional authority to extend federal unemployment benefits by executive order or whether states will sign on.

Under Trump’s plan, the $400 a week requires a state to commit to providing $100.

Pennsylvania had $3.4 billion in its unemployment compensation trust fund at the beginning of the year, according to federal figures. Wolf’s administration didn’t immediately say how much is left.

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John L. Micek

A three-decade veteran of the news business, John L. Micek is the Pennsylvania Capital-Star's former Editor-in-Chief.

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