NYS will apply to federal program for unemployment funds

Aug 22, 2020

New York State will apply for a federal program for unemployment money now that the state won't have to come up with additional funds to cover a portion of what the Trump administration had originally proposed, state officials said Friday.

Since "the federal government has blinked and will no longer make states provide funding they do not have, New York state will apply for the Lost Wages Assistance program," Budget Director Robert Mujica said in a statement.

President Donald Trump had signed an executive order earlier this month making money available from a Federal Emergency Management Agency fund. It was announced as a $400-per-week benefit, but put the onus on the states to pay $100 a week of that amount.

At the time, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo called the idea of cash-strapped New York coming up with the additional funds "laughable." The U.S. Department of Labor issued guidance last week saying states would not have to contribute that money.

Trump's order came after a $600-per-week federal unemployment benefit expired at the end of July, without a new bill for pandemic relief being reached.

Mujica noted that in his statement.

"Make no mistake, this does not absolve Washington from doing its job, and they must pass a comprehensive aid package that provides a stable extension of unemployment benefits, repeals the SALT cap and supports local and state governments. Anything else would simply be unacceptable," he said.