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State Sen. Michael Testa, Jr., left, with Assemblymen Erik Simonsen, center, and Antwan McClellan.

LD1 Republicans to offer computer access to unemployed constituents

By Nikita Biryukov, September 01 2020 9:35 am

Republican legislators in the first district are pushing to provide constituents with computer access to aid in filing unemployment applications.

“We still have constituents who have been unemployed since March as a result of Governor Phil Murphy’s overly restrictive executive orders,” State Sen. Michael Testa (R-Vineland) said. “Many of those who remain out of work are struggling financially and don’t have the computer, phone, or Internet access that’s needed to manage an unemployment claim remotely with the Department of Labor.”

Unemployment has become something of hallmark issue for Republicans since Gov. Phil Murphy issued an order locking down most of the state’s businesses in March.

Those shutdowns have largely been lifted — indoor dining and movie theaters, two of the last sectors that still face closures, will be allowed to open Friday — but, despite a drop in unemployment last month, more than 13% of the state’s residents remain jobless.

“Since May, we’ve been calling for the Labor Department to sit down with people face to face in unemployment offices to help cut through the red tape that’s keeping them from getting the benefits they’ve earned,” Assemblyman Erik Simonsen (R-Lower) said. “Unfortunately, the Murphy administration still hasn’t offered the full range of support services that people need to successfully navigate an extremely complex unemployment process.”

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