News Releases

(Washington, D.C.) – Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) applauded the announcement made by the Department of Labor (DOL) that Washington state will receive $97.7 million in funding from the Unemployment Insurance Modernization Act (UIMA). 

“This is great news for struggling families across Washington state who need some additional support while they fight to get back on the job in this tough economic climate,” Senator Murray said. “This support is critical, but we also need to keep working to get the economy back on track and these workers back on the job.”

"I want to congratulate Washington for making important updates to its unemployment insurance program to better meet the needs of today’s workers,” said Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis.  “These common sense changes are helping America's working families and building a stronger 21st century workforce."

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 established provisions for states to modernize their unemployment insurance (UI) programs.  Specifically, it provides substantial financial incentives for the states to close the gaps in the unemployment program that deny benefits to large numbers of people. In addition, the Recovery Act provides resources for state agencies to better serve the record numbers of workers now applying for unemployment benefits and seeking to navigate today’s challenging job market.

Washington became eligible for this funding because the state now allows workers who leave employment for compelling family reasons, including domestic violence, to be eligible for unemployment benefits, as well as workers who are in training to upgrade their skills are able to continue to receive benefits.