From the Office of State Senator Leticia Van de Putte

For Immediate Release
December 18, 2008
Contact: Tiffany Champion, (210) 733-6604

Senator Van de Putte Files Unemployment Insurance Legislation

(AUSTIN, TX)-- Senator Leticia Van de Putte (D-San Antonio) has filed SB 377 to extend unemployment insurance (UI) to part-time employees. Currently, only people who have worked full-time and are seeking full-time work can apply for unemployment benefits. This practice leaves out a broad population of the workforce, especially women who often work part-time because they care for small children. Nearly half of states extend UI benefits to part-time employees.

"Given the state of the economy and the growing unemployment population, the time has come to update our unemployment infrastructure in Texas. Many women can only work part-time because they care for their children, but in this economy, they could lose that much needed income. We must be prepared to help," said Van de Putte.

Unemployment Insurance is a proven economic stimulant that generates $2.15 for every dollar circulating the economy, and although Texas has seen continued job growth, the unemployment rate is up to 5.6% (a 30% increase from last year). There is also federal legislation pending called The Unemployment Insurance Modernization Act (UIMA) that would provide states incentive money if they adopt certain UI policy changes, such as extension to part-time employees.

"Many Texas families are struggling in this economy; I fear it will only get worse. We have to be ready to help people find jobs and keep food on the table," said Van de Putte.