Portantino’s Bill For Unemployment for Striking Workers Vetoed

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Senator Anthony Portantino (Photo by Ross A Benson)

Senator Anthony J. Portantino (D – Burbank) released the following statement today on Governor Newsom’s veto of SB 799, a measure that would have provided unemployment insurance benefits for striking workers.

“I am disappointed in the Governor’s veto of SB 799. The labor unrest and concern we all witnessed this summer earned the Legislature’s action to pass unemployment benefits for striking workers. The need continues and so will efforts to make this the law in California. The hardworking women and men in California need to put food on their table and pay their rent. SB 799 would have injected a small piece of security to working families that is needed and deserved. 

Here is what the Governor said when he vetoed the bill in an announcement on Saturday:

“California employers fund UI benefits through contributions to the state’s UI Trust Fund on behalf of each employee. The UI financing structure has not been updated since 1984, which has made the UI Trust Fund vulnerable to insolvency. Any expansion of eligibility for UI benefits could increase California’s outstanding federal UI debt projected to be nearly $20 billion by the end of the year, and could jeopardize California’s Benefit Cost Ratio add-on waiver application, significantly increasing taxes on employers. Furthermore, the state is responsible for the interest payments on the federal UI loan and to date has paid $362.7 million in interest with another $302 million due this month. Now is not the time to increase costs or incur this sizable debt.”