ETA News Release: [06/24/2009]
Contact Name: Jennifer Kaplan
Phone Number: (202) 693-5052
Release Number: 09-0732-DEN
U.S. Labor Department announces release of $6.5 million in unemployment insurance modernization incentive funds to Montana
WASHINGTON The U.S. Department of Labor today certified for release $6,508,588 in unemployment insurance (UI) modernization incentive funds to the state of Montana. Montana qualified for a portion of its share of the funds available under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (Recovery Act) by allowing workers to use their more recent earnings to qualify for benefits.
"Montana updated its program to enable recent entrants to the workforce to be eligible for unemployment benefits," said Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis. "Expanding the economic safety net is the right thing to do for workers and their families."
The Montana Department of Labor and Industry can use the funds to pay unemployment benefits or, if appropriated by the legislature, for administering its unemployment insurance program or delivering employment services.
"This is great news for Montanans who need a leg up during these tough economic times," said Montana's senior U.S. senator, Max Baucus, chairman of the Senate Finance Committee and key author of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. "This $6.5 million is an investment in our future and the future of Montana families."
"As we rebuild the economy from the ground up, it's important to offer a hand up to folks going through hard times through no fault of their own," commented Montana Sen. Jon Tester, a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee. "These temporary funds will help folks put food on the table for their families as we work to turn the economy around and get people working again."
The Recovery Act made a total of $7 billion available in UI modernization incentive payments to states that include certain eligibility provisions in their UI programs. Each state can qualify for a share of those funds by showing that its law includes those provisions. Montana's approved application will be posted at the department's Employment and Training Administration Web site at http://www.doleta.gov/recovery/. Other approved applications can also be found on this site.