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Statement in Support of Senate Bill 270: Unemployment Insurance Eligibility for Part-time Work

By Julie Varner, Associate Director for Social Concerns

Senate Finance Committee (02/17/09)

We offer this testimony in support of Senate Bill 270.

SB 270 will allow those seeking part-time work to be eligible for unemployment benefits. Currently, employers pay into the unemployment insurance system for their employees, regardless of whether the employees work part-time or full-time. Yet, part-time workers are unable to access the system’s benefits when they are in need of them. In today’s modern workforce, many workers – including many parents and caretakers of other dependent family members – are only able to work on a part-time basis. Though their employment is part-time, their income is vital to their family’s survival nonetheless.

SB 270 would ensure that these Marylanders are able to access the assistance they need to help their families get through the difficult time period until they have secured new employment. It would also add an important measure of fairness to the unemployment insurance system.

In the interest of a just unemployment insurance system and in helping families make ends meet after suffering a job loss, the Conference urges your support for SB 270. Thank you for your consideration.