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