Bill, that if passed, would have increased unemployment benefits fails to move forward in Louisiana Legislature

Laid off workers go before lawmakers for increase in unemployment benefits

NEW ORLEANS, La. (WVUE) - Out of work employees went before Louisiana lawmakers Monday calling for an increase in unemployment benefits.

“I’ve been working since I was 16-years-old and now to be unemployed and to not know where my next meal is coming from; it’s hard to support myself,” said New Orleans unemployed worker, Latonya Howard.

Louisiana unemployed workers say they’re struggling to make ends meet on the current payments. A House Labor and Industrial Relations Committee was considering a bill, that if passed, would have increased the maximum amount unemployed workers could get from the State, currently the cap is $247 a week. State Representative Royce Duplessis, D-New Orleans, sponsored the bill.

“I do believe it is a critical time to think about ways to not only help those who are unemployed but as a way to continue to stand up our hurting economy,” Duplessis said.

But, the bill was met with opposition from the Louisiana Association of Business and Industry.

“This is just not the time. We’re asking businesses to essentially rebuild the fund, whether we like it or not that is going to have to happen, a fund of $1-billion that we are going to have to get back up there.”

The bill failed to move forward in the legislature.

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