Bill could cut length of time to receive unemployment

Bill could cut length of time to receive unemployment
(Source: WSFA 12 News file photo)

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - The amount of time people could receive unemployment could soon be cut if house lawmakers approve new legislation.

Under the bill, how long someone could stay on unemployment would be linked to the state's unemployment rate. Fourteen weeks would be the new minimum amount of time someone could receive unemployment, down from the current 26. However, in exchange recipients would get slightly more money per week. The switch would save the state's unemployment fund about $40 million.

This legislation is based off of legislation in other states, like Florida. The original legislation had the amount of weeks of unemployment dependent on the unemployment rate of the county, but the Department of Labor said that would be illegal.

Additional weeks of unemployment could be added if a recipient goes through a training programs, like getting welding certificates or a commercial trucking license.

Supporters say the change would help get people back to work.

"This does incent you to start sooner than later," Rep. Danny Garrett, R-Trussville, said. "I think psychologically it's better for us to get back up on the horse and ride and get back in the work force. I think the real kicker here is the chance to increase your skills."

The bill is on Tuesday night's calendar.

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