The Unemployment Insurance Modernization Act (UIMA) is a key component of the economic recovery legislation recently introduced in the 111th Congress, called the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Together with the other economic recovery measures that make up this critical federal initiative, the UIMA will be well timed to help the states as their legislative sessions take shape and they take on the difficult task of putting in place new measures to respond to the devastating realities of today’s recession. Expanding the unemployment safety net will go a long way to provide the immediate relief workers need to pay their bills and navigate today’s challenging labor market, while also boosting the economy in those communities hardest hit by the recession.
What follows is a summary of the key reforms that qualify for incentive funding under the UIMA and model state legislation to help policy makers in the states as they introduce bills in preparation for their legislative sessions. By immediately filing bills featuring the model provisions of the UIMA, the states are also in a unique position to demonstrate their strong support for the UIMA and therefore help ensure its timely passage.