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Monday, November 1, 2010

Indiana's Unemployment Offices Add Armed Guards; to Prepare for Jobless Benefits End Date

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Indiana Unemployment Offices will
add armed security guards, to the tune
of 1 Million Dollars, to protect the states'
Unemployment offices from cut off
jobless residents.
The Indiana Department of Workforce Development is beefing up its security ahead of the holidays; in preparation of if Congress does not extend the unemployment benefits to jobless Americans under 99 weeks.

If Congress does not reauthorize extended H.R.-4213 Unemployment Insurance Act of 2010, which expires at the end of November 30; the National Employment Law Project estimates that two million people will prematurely miss checks by the end of the Christmas Holiday season in December.

The National Employment Law Project issued a Press Release on October 27, citing the narrow window Congress has created, for the legislation to be passed within both chambers. Other steps the bill would have to overcome include President Obama expected signature, to sign the bill into law and individual states' unemployment insurance agencies, interpreting the legislation; to pass the supplemental benefit payments to the nations' jobless.

"On November 15th, Congress is scheduled to return for only one week, with only three or four likely voting days, before taking off again for the Thanksgiving holiday. After then, Congress will return for two days, only one of which is likely to be a voting day, before the federal unemployment programs expire on November 30th. This is obviously a narrow window for Congress to act to keep the programs going", stated NELP.

Workforce Development spokesman Marc Lotter told Indiana channel News 6, the agency is putting armed guards at each of the 36 WorkOne Centers, which process unemployment benefits across the state.

Some Indiana unemployment offices have had guards for nearly two years, but those guards were hired on a regional basis, meaning some offices had armed guards while others did not, Lotter noted. The preparation of the new armed staff is part of a broader effort to prepare for the holidays, during which Indiana sees more unemployment claims and also an effort to standardize services.

Indiana's 9.5 percent unemployment rate was down .4 percent, from the August high of 9.9 percent. In addition, there are nearly 300,000 unemployed job seekers within the state.

"This is a stressful time for people in the economy," he said. "That's why we're not only taking this step (of hiring guards), but we're also increasing our training for our staff to be able to help people as they're trying to cope with these changes," Lotter told News 6.

Legislation with the Senate Finance Committee to assist the 99ers -S.3706 The Americans Want to Work Act- was filibustered at the end of September by Senator George LeMieux (R-FL), citing deficit concerns. 

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