Gov. Kim Reynolds Announces End to Federal Unemployment Funding

Republican Gov. Kim Reynolds announced on Tuesday that the state of Iowa will stop accepting and distributing pandemic-driven federal unemployment benefits. The Iowa governor said that the decision is being made in large part to combat the severe shortage of workers in recent months.

The end of participation in the federal benefits will be effective on June 12, 2021. While the state will continue to offer its regular unemployment insurance benefits, it will no longer distribute the additional federal funds. These extra funds were authorized as part of the federal response to the economic collapse caused by the COVID-19 health crisis.

The federal programs that will end on this date include the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC), the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA), the Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC), and the Mixed Earners Unemployment Compensation (MEUC).

Iowa Joins Other States

Iowa is not the first state to bring an end to these pandemic unemployment benefits. According to We Are Iowa, the state joins Alabama, Arkansas, Mississippi, Montana, and South Carolina in ending the reliance on federal unemployment benefits. While each state is looking at different end dates, the basic premise is the same.

Will Vaccine Legislation Be Next?

Reynolds is also siding with her Republican governor colleagues in standing up against the idea of mandated vaccine passports.

She recently reminded her constituents that she trusts them to do the right thing so that she does not have to mandate vaccines. She said that she believes in the vaccine enough to get one herself. However, she will stop short of requiring it in her state.