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Press Release: March 24, 2011

Governor Kitzhaber Extends Unemployment Benefits

(SALEM, Ore.)  — Governor Kitzhaber today signed two pieces of legislation that will extend unemployment benefits up to 26 weeks for Oregonians who have exhausted all other options.

 “Although we are on the path to economic recovery, there are thousands of Oregonians who are still struggling,” said Governor Kitzhaber. “Extending unemployment benefits is a life line to people in need right now.”

Senate Bill 637, passed with overwhelming support, allows Oregon to use $225 million in federal funds to extend unemployment benefits for 20 weeks.  Nearly 50,000 Oregonians will be eligible to receive the additional benefits by the end of the year.

Senate Bill 638 will use $26 million from State Unemployment Trust Fund to extend benefits for six weeks. This money will go to an estimated 17,500 Oregon workers whose benefits would otherwise expire in April.

Audio Available here: http://governor.oregon.gov/Gov/media_room/audio/a2011/unemployment_benefits.mp3

Media Contacts:
Christine Miles, 503-559-8795
Amy Wojcicki, 503-689-5324

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