Vote Tracker

Senate Passes Bill Increasing Unemployment Benefits

The Senate joined the House last week in passing House Bill 49, which would increase unemployment benefits by $50 a week. While the House passed it unanimously, four anti-worker Senate Republicans voted no, with Senator Hocker saying that this bill will make it more attractive to be unemployed. It is amazing that Republicans actually think like this, and it proves that not one of them have ever been unemployed in their life.

Governor Carney has already signed the bill into law, much to Senator Hocker’s chagrin. This bill, sponsored by Represenative Ed Osienski, would increase the maximum weekly benefit amount from $400 a week to $450 a week, payable to individuals seeking unemployment compensation benefits from the Delaware Division of Unemployment Insurance. The funds needed to pay this increase will be paid from the Unemployment Trust Fund.  It is the first increase in four years.

Raising the benefit to $450 per week would bring it more closely in line with Maryland’s benefit ($430) and narrows the gap with Pennsylvania ($605). 

House Bill 49Increasing Unemployment BenefitsCurrrent Status – House Passed 39-0-2, Senate Passed 16-4-1. Signed by Governor.
House SponsorsOsienski, WilliamsSenate SponsorsTownsend, Walsh
House Yes VotesBaumbach Bolden Bush Carson Chukwuocha Cooke Dorsey-Walker Griffith Harris Heffernan Lambert Longhurst Lynn Matthews Minor-Brown Moore Morrison Neal Osienski Parker-Selby Phillips Romer Schwartzkopf Williams Wilson-Anton // Briggs King Dukes Gray Hensley Hilovsky Morris Postles Ramone Short Shupe Smith Smyk Spiegelman Vanderwende YearickSenate Yes Votes Brown Gay Hansen Hoffner Huxtable Lockman Mantzavinos McBride Paradee Poore Sokola Sturgeon Townsend Walsh // Lawson Richardson
House No Votes – NoneSenate No VotesBuckson Hocker Pettyjohn Wilson
House Absents or Not VotingCollins, JohnsonSenate Absent or Not VotingPinkney

“The unemployment benefit provides a vital lifeline to residents who find themselves out of work due to no fault of their own. The bills don’t stop coming in, even if the pay does, and this benefit helps keep food on the table and utilities turned on while a person searches for a new job,” said Rep. Osienski. “Boosting the maximum weekly benefit will help offset the cost-of-living increases we have experienced since we last raised the benefit in 2019.” 

“The pandemic took an enormous toll on Delaware’s workforce — not just on our workers, but on our state’s employers, too. ​​House Bill 49 increases the maximum benefit amount payable to workers seeking unemployment compensation benefits without putting undue burden on the business owners supplementing these costs,” said Sen. Jack Walsh, the lead Senate sponsor. “This bill will help Delaware match the level of benefits that other states are paying for equivalent claims.” 

Delaware politics from a liberal, progressive and Democratic perspective. Keep Delaware Blue.

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