Even as economists are touting the end of the Great Recession, states are still dealing with the challenges associated with the market collapse, housing bubble bust and a multitude of other fiscal challenges.
It’s no secret: During this recession, record numbers of workers who lost jobs are drawing benefits from state unemployment funds. Many states are feeling the pinch. In fact, the U.S. Senate approved legislation Tuesday night that extends federal emergency unemployment benefits for workers who have exhausted their basic state unemployment benefits. But that won’t resolve the dire unemployment insurance situation.
As unemployment rates have skyrocketed in the economic downturn, state unemployment insurance funds are being depleted at increasing rates. As funds run out, states are borrowing from the federal government, raising taxes and cutting benefits.
State Medicaid provider rates were casualties of the recession in almost all states in 2009-2010. And despite the economic downturn a number of states expanded eligibility, increased benefits, and improved application processes.