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Gov. Sisolak signs legislation expanding unemployment eligibility

Published: Aug. 6, 2020 at 12:18 PM PDT|Updated: Aug. 7, 2020 at 7:09 AM PDT
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CARSON CITY, Nev. (KOLO) - Gov. Steve Sisolak on Thursday signed Senate Bill 3 to help address unemployment benefit issues in Nevada.

The bill aims to help provide more flexibility to the Nevada Department of Employment Training and Rehabilitation (DETR) to help connect claimants to benefits faster and will extend the number of weeks Nevadans are eligible for additional benefits through this crisis, using only federal funds.

In addition to signing legislation expanding unemployment eligibility, the Governor also appointed Barbara Buckley to lead what he called a rapid response effort on unemployment insurance.

The Governor said Buckley will work closely with the new acting director of DETR, Elisa Cafferata, to find policy solutions to reduce the backlog.

Gov. Sisolak spoke from the Nevada State Capitol and announced immediate action underway to find solutions to the backlog of claimants who have not received benefits.

“I want you to know, I hear you. I am listening and I am taking action,” the Governor said.

The Governor noted that Nevada has the highest unemployment rate in the nation. He said the state has paid more than 120,000 pandemic assistance claims, and as of July 30, 2020, DETR has paid $6.1 billion across all U.I. and CARES Act programs since the start of the pandemic.

According to the Governor, DETR has hired more than 100 additional staff to answer phones and process claims. He said although some progress has been made, due to the overwhelming nature of the coronavirus pandemic, he said there is still much work to be done.

The Governor also addressed unemployment fraud, saying these types of claims slow down the process for everyone. He said scammers who fraudulently file unemployment claims under other people’s names, will be prosecuted to the fullest.

For a full wrap up of the address, tune in to KOLO 8 News Now at 4:30 p.m. You can also watch on the livestream.

Copyright 2020 KOLO. All rights reserved.

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