End to Unemployment Bill Standoff Is a Welcome Stop Gap; Long Term Benefit Extension, State Fiscal Relief and Other Job Creation Steps Still Needed

MECEP urges Senate and House action to adopt comprehensive legislation “to put Maine and America back to work”
Augusta, Maine (Wednesday, March 3, 2010)—The Maine Center for Economic Policy (MECEP) today welcomed an end to a filibuster that had stalled emergency extension of unemployment benefits and threatened the income security of to thousands of laid off workers in Maine and across the nation. MECEP urged the Senate and the House to move forward immediately with comprehensive legislation to extend emergency health care and unemployment benefits and for another year and to provide fiscal relief to states as well as other measures to protect and create jobs.

“This one-month extension is a welcome temporary reprieve for the thousands of workers in Maine and across the nation whose income security remains at risk,” said MECEP Executive Director Christopher “Kit” St. John. “It is only a stop gap measure at a time when economic growth and job creation demand comprehensive, bold leadership from Congress.  We need immediate action in both the Senate and the House to renew emergency unemployment and health care benefits for another year, provide substantive financial relief to states like Maine that face job-threatening budget cuts and enact other measures needed to put Maine and America back to work.”

MECEP continues to work with Maine legislators in both Washington and Augusta to restore economic growth and to create millions of jobs for people in Maine and across America laid off during the Great Recession. A February analysis by MECEP projected the loss of 7,000 to 10,000 Maine jobs from proposed state budget cuts to education and health care services.