Editor’s note: The following information was provided by the Legislative Press and Public Information Bureau.
STATE HOUSE — Maximum weekly benefits available through the state’s Unemployment Insurance system would increase from $566 to $616 under legislation the Rhode Island Senate passed today. The bill, sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Michael J. McCaffrey (D – Dist. 29, Warwick), increases a cap that has not changed since 2012.
“Every person collecting unemployment is taking in at least 42.5 percent less than they had been while working. Meanwhile, the bills don’t stop. Despite increases in cost of living, the maximum benefit has remained unchanged for years, and that can be very problematic when someone is suddenly out of work. It can be a struggle to pay the rent, the mortgage, or the heating bill.”
Current law provides for unemployment benefits equal to 57.5 percent of the average weekly wages paid to the worker in the prior calendar year, with a cap of $566. The McCaffrey bill leaves the 57.5 percent rate in place, and increases the maximum benefit to $616 per week.
The bill (2017-S-716) will now be sent to the House of Representatives, where similar legislation has been introduced by Rep. Daniel P. McKiernan (D – Dist. 7, Providence).