The New York State Senate and Assembly both supported creating a fund to provide unemployment insurance to workers who are excluded from the unemployment insurance system, primarily undocumented immigrants and people leaving incarceration during the Covid-19 pandemic. Both houses included $2.1 billion in their one-house budgets.

The report shows that while $2.1 billion is an impressive signal from the legislature, $3.5 billion is the amount that is needed to match the minimum benefits other workers receive and to continue that aid through the end of the year. The total includes $3.4 billion for benefits, and $110 million for administration and outreach, as already included in the Assembly’s proposal.

“The need is urgent,” said David Dyssegaard Kallick, director of the Fiscal Policy Institute’s Immigration Research Initiative. “Unemployment insurance has been a life-saver to so many New Yorkers. This would extend that same help to people who have been left out of federal aid.”

Read the State of Politics post: “Report Finds $3.5B Needed for Aiding Excluded Workers During Pandemic”