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S. 1709 (is) To authorize the Secretary of Labor to provide assistance to States for ...


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108th CONGRESS
  1st Session
                                S. 1708

To provide extended unemployment benefits to displaced workers, and to 
     make other improvements in the unemployment insurance system.


_______________________________________________________________________


                   IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

                            October 2, 2003

 Mr. Kennedy (for himself, Mrs. Clinton, Mr. Durbin, Mrs. Murray, Ms. 
 Cantwell, Mr. Sarbanes, Mr. Levin, Mr. Rockefeller, Mr. Reed, and Mr. 
Wyden) introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred 
                      to the Committee on Finance

_______________________________________________________________________

                                 A BILL


 
To provide extended unemployment benefits to displaced workers, and to 
     make other improvements in the unemployment insurance system.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE; TABLE OF CONTENTS.

    (a) Short Title.--This Act may be cited as the ``Unemployment 
Compensation Extension Act''.
    (b) Table of Contents.--The table of contents for this Act is as 
follows:

Sec. 1. Short title; table of contents.
         TITLE I--TEMPORARY EXTENDED UNEMPLOYMENT COMPENSATION

Sec. 101. References.
Sec. 102. Extension of the Temporary Extended Unemployment Compensation 
                            Act of 2002.
Sec. 103. Entitlement to additional weeks of temporary extended 
                            unemployment compensation.
Sec. 104. Extended benefit periods.
  TITLE II--UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS FOR INDIVIDUALS QUALIFYING BASED ON 
              PART-TIME WORK OR AN ALTERNATIVE BASE PERIOD

Sec. 201. Federal-State agreements.
Sec. 202. Payments to States having agreements under this title.
Sec. 203. Financing provisions.
Sec. 204. Definitions.
Sec. 205. Applicability.
               TITLE III--RAILROAD UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE

Sec. 301. Temporary increase in extended unemployment benefits under 
                            the Railroad Unemployment Insurance Act.

         TITLE I--TEMPORARY EXTENDED UNEMPLOYMENT COMPENSATION

SEC. 101. REFERENCES.

    Except as otherwise expressly provided, whenever in this title an 
amendment is expressed in terms of an amendment to a section or other 
provision, the reference shall be considered to be made to a section or 
other provision of the Temporary Extended Unemployment Compensation Act 
of 2002 (Public Law 107-147; 26 U.S.C. 3304 note).

SEC. 102. EXTENSION OF THE TEMPORARY EXTENDED UNEMPLOYMENT COMPENSATION 
              ACT OF 2002.

    (a) Six-Month Extension of Program.--Section 208 is amended to read 
as follows:

``SEC. 208. APPLICABILITY.

    ``(a) In General.--Subject to subsection (b), an agreement entered 
into under this title shall apply to weeks of unemployment--
            ``(1) beginning after the date on which such agreement is 
        entered into; and
            ``(2) ending before July 1, 2004.
    ``(b) Transition.--In the case of an individual who is receiving 
temporary extended unemployment compensation for the week which 
immediately precedes the first day of the week that includes July 1, 
2004, temporary extended unemployment compensation shall continue to be 
payable to such individual for any week thereafter from the account 
from which such individual received compensation for the week 
immediately preceding that termination date. No compensation shall be 
payable by reason of the preceding sentence for any week beginning 
after December 31, 2004.''.
    (b) Effective Date.--The amendment made by this section shall take 
effect as if included in the enactment of the Temporary Extended 
Unemployment Compensation Act of 2002 (Public Law 107-147; 26 U.S.C. 
3304 note).

SEC. 103. ENTITLEMENT TO ADDITIONAL WEEKS OF TEMPORARY EXTENDED 
              UNEMPLOYMENT COMPENSATION.

    (a) Weeks of TEUC Amounts.--Paragraph (1) of section 203(b) is 
amended to read as follows:
            ``(1) In general.--The amount established in an account 
        under subsection (a) shall be equal to 26 times the 
        individual's weekly benefit amount for the benefit year.''.
    (b) Weeks of TEUC-X Amounts.--Section 203(c)(1) is amended by 
striking ``an amount equal to the amount originally established in such 
account (as determined under subsection (b)(1))'' and inserting ``7 
times the individual's weekly benefit amount for the benefit year''.
    (c) Effective Date.--
            (1) In general.--The amendments made by this section--
                    (A) shall take effect as if included in the 
                enactment of the Temporary Extended Unemployment 
                Compensation Act of 2002 (Public Law 107-147; 26 U.S.C. 
                3304 note); but
                    (B) shall apply only with respect to weeks of 
                unemployment beginning on or after the date of 
                enactment of this Act, subject to paragraph (2).
            (2) Special rules.--In the case of an individual for whom a 
        temporary extended unemployment compensation account was 
        established before the date of enactment of this Act, the 
        Temporary Extended Unemployment Compensation Act of 2002 (as 
        amended by this title) shall be applied subject to the 
        following:
                    (A) Any amounts deposited in the individual's 
                temporary extended unemployment compensation account by 
                reason of section 203(c) of such Act (commonly known as 
                ``TEUC-X amounts'') before the date of enactment of 
                this Act shall be treated as amounts deposited by 
                reason of section 203(b) of such Act (commonly known as 
                ``TEUC amounts''), as amended by subsection (a).
                    (B) For purposes of determining whether the 
                individual is eligible for any TEUC-X amounts under 
                such Act, as amended by this title--
                            (i) any determination made under section 
                        203(c) of such Act before the application of 
                        the amendments made by this title shall be 
                        disregarded; and
                            (ii) any such determination shall instead 
                        be made by applying section 203(c) of such Act, 
                        as amended by this title--
                                    (I) as of the time that all amounts 
                                established in such account in 
                                accordance with section 203(b) of such 
                                Act (as amended by this title, and 
                                including any amounts described in 
                                subparagraph (A)) are in fact 
                                exhausted, except that
                                    (II) if such individual's account 
                                was both augmented by and exhausted of 
                                all TEUC-X amounts before the date of 
                                enactment of this Act, such 
                                determination shall be made as if 
                                exhaustion (as described in section 
                                203(c)(1) of such Act) had not occurred 
                                until such date of enactment.

SEC. 104. EXTENDED BENEFIT PERIODS.

    (a) Application of Revised Rate of Insured Unemployment.--Section 
207 is amended--
            (1) by striking ``In'' and inserting ``(a) In General.--
        In''; and
            (2) by adding at the end the following:
    ``(b) Insured Unemployment Rate.--For purposes of carrying out 
section 203(c) with respect to weeks of unemployment beginning on or 
after the date of enactment of this subsection, the term `rate of 
insured unemployment', as used in section 203(d) of the Federal-State 
Extended Unemployment Compensation Act of 1970 (26 U.S.C. 3304 note), 
has the meaning given such term under section 203(e)(1) of such Act, 
except that individuals exhausting their right to regular compensation 
during the most recent 3 calendar months for which data are available 
before the close of the period for which such rate is being determined 
shall be taken into account as if they were individuals filing claims 
for regular compensation for each week during the period for which such 
rate is being determined, and section 203(d)(1)(A) of such Act shall be 
applied by substituting `either (or both)' for `each'.''.
    (b) Additional Extended Benefit Period Trigger.--
            (1) In general.--Section 203(c) is amended by adding at the 
        end the following:
            ``(3) Additional extended benefit period trigger.--
                    ``(A) In general.--Effective with respect to 
                compensation for weeks of unemployment beginning on or 
                after the date of enactment of this paragraph, an 
                agreement under this title shall provide that, in 
                addition to any other extended benefit period trigger, 
                for purposes of beginning or ending any extended 
                benefit period under this section--
                            ``(i) there is a State `on' indicator for a 
                        week if--
                                    ``(I) the average rate of total 
                                unemployment in such State (seasonally 
                                adjusted) for the period consisting of 
                                the most recent 3 months for which data 
                                for all States are published before the 
                                close of such week equals or exceeds 6 
                                percent; and
                                    ``(II) the average rate of total 
                                unemployment in such State (seasonally 
                                adjusted) for the 3-month period 
                                referred to in subclause (I) equals or 
                                exceeds 110 percent of such average 
                                rate for the corresponding 3-month 
                                period ending in either (or both) of 
                                the preceding 2 calendar years; and
                            ``(ii) there is a State `off' indicator for 
                        a week if either the requirements of subclause 
                        (I) or (II) of clause (i) are not satisfied.
                    ``(B) No effect on other determinations.--
                Notwithstanding the provisions of any agreement 
                described in subparagraph (A), any week for which there 
                would otherwise be a State `on' indicator shall 
                continue to be such a week and shall not be determined 
                to be a week for which there is a State `off' 
                indicator.
                    ``(C) Determinations made by the secretary.--For 
                purposes of this subsection, determinations of the rate 
                of total unemployment in any State for any period (and 
                of any seasonal adjustment) shall be made by the 
                Secretary.''.
            (2) Conforming amendment.--Section 203(c)(1) is amended by 
        inserting ``or (3)'' after ``paragraph (2)''.

  TITLE II--UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS FOR INDIVIDUALS QUALIFYING BASED ON 
              PART-TIME WORK OR AN ALTERNATIVE BASE PERIOD

SEC. 201. FEDERAL-STATE AGREEMENTS.

    (a) In General.--Any State which desires to do so may enter into 
and participate in an agreement under this title with the Secretary of 
Labor (hereinafter in this title referred to as the ``Secretary''). Any 
State which is a party to an agreement under this title may, upon 
providing 30 days' written notice to the Secretary, terminate such 
agreement.
    (b) Provisions of Agreement.--
            (1) In general.--Any agreement under subsection (a) shall 
        provide that the State agency of the State will make payments 
        of regular compensation to individuals in amounts and to the 
        extent that they would be determined if the State law were 
        applied with the modifications described in paragraph (2).
            (2) Modifications described.--The modifications described 
        in this paragraph are as follows:
                    (A) In the case of an individual who is not 
                eligible for regular compensation under the State law 
                because of the use of a definition of base period that 
                does not count wages earned in the most recently 
                completed calendar quarter, eligibility for 
                compensation under this title shall be determined by 
                applying a base period ending at the close of the most 
                recently completed calendar quarter.
                    (B) In the case of an individual who is not 
                eligible for regular compensation under the State law 
                because such individual does not meet requirements 
                relating to availability for work, active search for 
                work, or refusal to accept work, because such 
                individual is seeking, or is available for, less than 
                full-time work, compensation under this title shall not 
                be denied by such State to an otherwise eligible 
                individual who seeks less than full-time work or fails 
                to accept full-time work.
    (c) Coordination Rule.--The modifications described in subsection 
(b)(2) shall also apply in determining the amount of benefits payable 
under any Federal law to the extent that those benefits are determined 
by reference to regular compensation payable under the State law of the 
State involved.

SEC. 202. PAYMENTS TO STATES HAVING AGREEMENTS UNDER THIS TITLE.

    (a) General Rule.--There shall be paid to each State which has 
entered into an agreement under this title an amount equal to--
            (1) 100 percent of any regular compensation made payable to 
        individuals by such State by virtue of the modifications which 
        are described in section 201(b)(2) and deemed to be in effect 
        with respect to such State pursuant to section 201(b)(1), and
            (2) 100 percent of any regular compensation--
                    (A) which is paid to individuals by such State by 
                reason of the fact that its State law contains 
                provisions comparable to the modifications described in 
                section 201(b)(2), but only
                    (B) to the extent that those amounts would, if such 
                amounts were instead payable by virtue of the State 
                law's being deemed to be so modified pursuant to 
                section 201(b)(1), have been reimbursable under 
                paragraph (1).
    (b) Determination of Amount.--Sums under subsection (a) payable to 
any State by reason of such State having an agreement under this title 
shall be payable, either in advance or by way of reimbursement (as may 
be determined by the Secretary), in such amounts as the Secretary 
estimates the State will be entitled to receive under this title for 
each calendar month, reduced or increased, as the case may be, by any 
amount by which the Secretary finds that the Secretary's estimates for 
any prior calendar month were greater or less than the amounts which 

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