Democrat Governor Warns Extending Unemployment Benefits Will “Discourage Work”

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The Connecticut Mirror

Lamont: Extending $600-a-week federal jobless benefit may ‘discourage work’

By Ana Radelat

June 17, 2020

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Gov. Ned Lamont says he doesn’t see a need for an extension of the federal government’s $600-a-week unemployment benefit, a program that has helped keep hundreds of thousands of Connecticut’s jobless people afloat during the pandemic.

Speaking to the Westport-Weston Chamber of Commerce about unemployment benefits on Wednesday, Lamont said: “I think sometimes it discourages work.”

“I would put off this extra $600 true-up they’re talking about,” Lamont said.“I don’t think we need that.”

Lamont’s stance runs counter to that of most congressional Democrats, who are seeking to keep the federal help flowing to the unemployed to the end of the year. They say that even as states are opening up, many jobs lost in the pandemic are gone for good.

The House-approved HEROES Act — endorsed by the entire Connecticut House delegation — would extend the $600 a week federal unemployment benefits until January of 2021. These benefits are currently available to all who lost their jobs due to the pandemic, including those who had worked part-time or were self-employed.

Some Republicans have said the federal benefits discourage the jobless — especially low-wage workers –from returning to the workforce and that, in turn, is forcing businesses to offer their workers more money.

Senate Republicans and the White House are expected to counter Democratic demands to extend unemployment benefits with a … return-to-work bonus.

To learn more about Rep. Brady’s Return to Work Bonus legislation, CLICK HERE.

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