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Governor Signs Unemployment Bill
Tuesday, 21 April 2009

April 21 – Today Governor Sonny Perdue announced that House Bill 581 has been signed into law. The legislation will allow Georgia to draw down $226 million in federal funds to shore up the state’s unemployment trust fund.

“Signing HB 581 will help prevent tax increases on Georgia businesses so they can grow and create jobs,” said Governor Perdue.  “The changes in our unemployment rules and regulations are relatively minor, and I appreciate the General Assembly’s willingness to approve additional benefits for unemployed Georgians.”

Labor Commissioner Michael Thurmond and committee chairmen Rep. Mike Coan and Sen. Ralph Hudgens worked closely with the Governor’s Office to develop HB 581. To qualify for the federal funds, the state expanded unemployment benefits by allowing people seeking part-time work to qualify for unemployment.  In addition, Georgians can receive unemployment while in a training program if they were laid off from a declining occupation and are training for a high-demand occupation. These changes will cost the state less than $1.2 million a year.

HB 581 also provides extended benefits for Georgians who have exhausted their 26 weeks of regular unemployment benefits. The provision allows for an extra 13 weeks of benefits, which will be funded entirely by federal funds for almost all Georgia employers. The provisions of the bill are effective immediately; however the Commissioner of Labor can delay the start date of the extended benefits provision until May 25, if he deems such a delay necessary.

The Governor also announced that the following legislation was signed into law. For more information on this legislation, please visit www.legis.state.ga.us.


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