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Lamont Expands Unemployment Benefits For 38,000 To Leverage Federal Funds

Mark Lennihan

Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont has expanded unemployment benefits for about 38,000 low-wage workers who were unable to qualify for six weeks of federal supplemental payments during the summer.

Kurt Westby is the state Labor commissioner. He said Lamont’s executive order allows the state to retroactively increase the workers’ benefits to $100 a week. That would qualify them for an additional $300 a week in federal supplemental assistance.

“This is a temporary increase. It covers only the six weeks that the original program ran. But it is an important increase that allows those claimants to bring in potentially up to another $1,800 each,” Westby said.

Connecticut would borrow $7.5 million dollars to make the retroactive payments. Officials said that would leverage enough federal funds to inject about $55 million into the state’s economy.

As WSHU Public Radio’s award-winning senior political reporter, Ebong Udoma draws on his extensive tenure to delve deep into state politics during a major election year.