Republicans in the Iowa House and Senate approved a measure on March 23 that would reduce the maximum length of unemployment insurance payments from 26 weeks to 16 weeks. The state House passed HF 2355, and the Senate approved an amended version the same day. The Senate’s version added a one-week waiting period for claimants collecting unemployment insurance benefits.
The House has to pass the Senate’s version before the bill heads to Governor Kim Reynolds. Reynolds has expressed that she would sign legislation to cut back unemployment insurance benefits.
Unemployment insurance is a joint federal and state program that provides temporary monetary benefits to eligible laid-off workers who are actively seeking new employment. Qualifying individuals receive unemployment compensation as a percentage of their lost wages in the form of weekly cash benefits while they search for new employment.
The federal government oversees the general administration of state unemployment insurance programs. The states control the specific features of their unemployment insurance programs, such as eligibility requirements and length of benefits.