Unemployment benefits extension brings relief but more needs to be done, tenant organizations say

Local News

(KTXL) — President Donald Trump signed multiple executive orders Saturday, one of which extends unemployment benefits for those out of work during the pandemic. 

It comes after negotiations stalled on Capitol Hill, and the extra $600 relief checks expired. 

Although the order extends those benefits, the weekly payments have been reduced to $400.

“It’s been kind of hard. I’m just trying to stay on the boat and not sink so I can make end’s meet,”  said Suisun City resident Lloyd Jackson. 

Thankfully for Jackson, when his employer cut his position in the spring, he had coronavirus relief money to get him through. 

“As far as income-wise, I had to apply for unemployment benefits, and that’s really helped me to keep up with all my bills,” Jackson said. 

For weeks, Jackson, like millions of other out-of-work Americans, leaned on the $600 he got to keep the lights on. 

He says he’s relieved President Trump extended those benefits, even if it means getting $200 less. 

“It’s a positive. Even though it’s not $600,” Jackson told FOX40. “We can’t all be greedy and want this and that.” 

But Jason Harris, who’s also out of work right now, says the checks they’ve been given this year don’t cover their monthly expenses. 

“The $1,200 stimulus we got some time ago was helpful to a lot of families but if you compare to other countries, they’re getting a lot more,” Harris said. 

It’s a reason why Shanti Singh, who represents California renters struggling to pay their bills, says a long-term solution is needed. 

“I’m glad that it’s been extended because that would make the crisis even worse, but that doesn’t solve the situation in a meaningful way,” Tenants Together Communications Coordinator Singh said.

The Sacramento Tenants Union also released a statement about the decrease in unemployment benefits.

any decrease to unemployment benefits at this point will have an exponentially greater impact on the people hardest hit by this pandemic. Many people depended on the added $600 UI supplement to cover their rent and with $200 being taken out of that, Sacramentans will have to make even more difficult decisions about whether to put money in their landlord’s pocket or provide food, medicine, and other necessities for themselves and their families. The lack of action at the city and county levels has been an absolute travesty, and politicians should walk the streets in shame having funneled millions to businesses and completely ignored the working class people of this city 

Sacramento Tenants Union

The president also signed executive orders on delaying student loan payments, extending a freeze on evictions and deferring payroll taxes for those making less than $100,000 annually. 

“I’m ready for the economy to be back open, especially with our family business,” said Mileena, a Roseville resident. 

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