Dem. Lawmakers To Sununu: Take Action To Help Furloughed Workers In N.H.

Jan 25, 2019

N.H. Senate President Donna Soucy
Credit Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Top state house Democrats want Governor Sununu to take executive action to supply unemployment benefits to N.H. workers affected by the federal shutdown. But the Governor's office says that would be risky.

Democratic leaders says passing laws to help federal workers would take weeks, but the Governor can act now.

"We urge Governor Sununu to leverage his close relationship with the current administration and to obtain clearance for New Hampshire to issue unemployment insurance to our own residents," said N.H. Senate President Donna Soucy.

"Should our efforts fail we would expect the Sununu administration to immediately pursue any and all available legal recourse."

The Governor's office says issuing unemployment benefits without congressional approval could "come with long-term financial consequences."

Democrats also urged Sununu to provide heating assistance, and to ensure people on food stamps, and other benefit programs are held harmless during the shutdown.

The Governor's office says heating help is already available, and that school lunch, food stamp and other programs won't be affected through February.

Read the letter sent by Democratic leaders to Sununu: