WEDNESDAY: Mostly sunny. High: 65. Winds: Southeast 5-10 mph.
WEDNESDAY NIGHT: Increasing clouds with a few showers -- mainly north of Springfield. Low: 45. Winds: Southeast 10-15 mph.
Extended Unemployment Benefits May Go Away
There are 2,000 people who receive unemployment benefits in Illinois, but more than half that number could be without help from the government after December 29.
"We're very concerned about the potential for benefits, ending the federal benefits extension programs," Illinois Department of Employment Security Director Jay Rowell said.
Seven point nine percent of the nation is unemployed. Two million people will lose their monthly extended benefits if the government does not decide to extend the program. The Congressional Budget Office said it will cost $30 billion to extend benefits program another year.
Larry Whinds's daughter uses unemployment. He worries she will be without help at the end of the month.
"People are struggling this day and age for jobs and money and everything," Whinds said. "They're cutting benefits. Where are they going to go?"
Jay Rowell said the Illinois unemployment rate is at 8.8 percent. He's working to lower the number.
"What people want is to get back to work," Rowell said. "That's what's best for them. And we really want to help people get gainfully employed."
The normal unemployment plan lasts 26 weeks. The extended program stretches government help to 99 weeks. Salvation Army Corps Officer Paul Logan can predict a burden for his shelter and pantry in Springfield.
"We're all looking to fund all of those programs," Logan said. "Trying to find the funds for those programs, especially when the pressure comes that there's more need, it gets harder and harder to provide for those people."