ALABAMA (WHNT) — Alabama lawmakers passed a bill on Wednesday adding a new requirement for those receiving unemployment benefits in the state.
According to AL.com, the House passed the bill with a 76-24 vote. Republicans reportedly supported the bill while Democrats were against it.
Under the bill, anyone receiving pay for unemployment would be required to show a “reasonable and active effort” to find work – a condition that already exists under Alabama state law. The twist now would require people to contact at least three prospective employers for every week they claim unemployment.
Proof of those efforts would have to be shown.
The three contacts per week rule is already a requirement for those living in all four of Alabama’s surrounding states.
According to the Alabama Department of Labor, random reviews would be conducted on at least 5% of the work search claims.
Currently, Alabama residents can draw up to $275 per week in unemployment compensation for up to 14 weeks. Anyone entering a qualified training program can qualify for five extra weeks.
Lawmakers say the contact requirement doesn’t mean they will have to physically go to a business to fill out an application, but showing effort to find work by at least making phone calls or emails to employers could help get people back into the workforce sooner.
The bill, which has already received final approval in the Senate, will now head to Governor Kay Ivey’s desk, who could sign it into law.