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News Release

ETA News Release: [05/15/2009]
Contact Name: Jennifer Kaplan
Phone Number: (202) 693-5052
Release Number: 09-0544-SAN

U.S. Labor Department announces release of $10.2 million in unemployment insurance modernization incentive funds to Hawaii

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Labor today certified for release $10,175,575 in unemployment insurance (UI) modernization incentive funds to the state of Hawaii. Hawaii qualified for the funds available under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (Recovery Act) by allowing workers to use their more recent earnings to be eligible for benefits. Hawaii's approved application will be posted at the department's Employment and Training Administration Web site at http://www.doleta.gov/recovery/.

"Hawaii's UI program includes a key provision that better meets the needs of the 21st century workforce," said Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis. "Hawaii uses recent wages when determining eligibility for benefits, which enables unemployed workers who are relatively new entrants to the workforce to receive the assistance they need and deserve."

The Hawaii Department of Labor and Industrial Relations can use the funds to pay unemployment benefits or, if appropriated by the legislature, for administering its unemployment insurance program or delivering employment services.

The Recovery Act made a total of $7 billion available in UI modernization incentive payments to states that include certain eligibility provisions in their UI programs. Each state can qualify for a share of those funds by showing that its law includes those provisions. In addition to Hawaii, Connecticut, Illinois, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, South Dakota and Virginia have been certified by the Labor Department to receive a share of the funds.