Oct. 31, 2003 – Checks will be going out shortly to unemployment insurance beneficiaries whose payments have been held up since the end of August because of a legislation language glitch.
Gov. Charles W. Turnbull signed the bill on Thursday that the Senate passed on Tuesday correcting the language in an amendment passed last May. The earlier measure stated that "No additional benefits shall be paid after Aug. 30, 2003." It was amended this week to specify that "No new claims shall be payable under the provisions of this Section after Aug. 30."
The governor called the Legislature into special session on Tuesday to make the needed change. After signing the bill, the governor told Senate President David Jones in a cover letter that enactment of the measure passed this week "corrects several deficiencies in the current law."
In a very short session, the senators unanimously approved the amendment, but not before a lot of finger-pointing about who was responsible for bringing the error to light. (See "Senate approves change in jobless benefits law".)
Labor Commissioner Cecil Benjamin said on Friday that the held-up unemployment checks should start going out Friday or Monday. "We knew the governor would sign the bill, so we had already started the process to get those documents on the way," he said.
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