Unemployment Extension: Davenport Workers Relieved - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

Unemployment Extension: Davenport Workers Relieved

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The unemployed are breathing a sigh of relief after getting word that unemployment benefits will be extended. Senators reached an agreement late Tuesday night to end Senator Jim Bunning's filibuster of 10-billion dollars in jobless benefits.

The Senate voted 78 to 19 on the extension measure. The vote came minutes after Bunning made a final plea on the Senate floor for his colleagues not to borrow money. 

There's no doubt the unemployed in the Quad Cities are happy about the news, but this extension is only temporary. It's a 30-day extension. For some of the jobless in the Quad Cities their unemployment check can mean the difference between having a place to live or being out on the streets. 

"I'm getting $256 every week which is just barely enough to live on. There's no extra money," Rick Coburn of Davenport explained.

Coburn has been trying to find work since he was laid off last January. He says it's been difficult and now he's living day to day on unemployment. 

"My entire check goes to rent and food. Every check is essential," Coburn said.

While looking for work, Coburn has also been keeping an eye on the news. He says he was frustrated when Senator Bunning tried to block the benefit extension.

"Yes, I was frustrated! I mean, I understood where he was coming from, but people really need this," Coburn told TV-6.

The Davenport man doesn't have to imagine what it would be like without an extension. His benefits already ran out once.

"I was actually homeless for about a week then. I lost unemployment benefits for a week or two," he said.

Coburn had to live in his car at that time and he never wants to do that again.  That's why he goes to the Iow@Work resource room to search for jobs and update his resume. Steve Lee is doing the same. Lee lost his job when Blackhawk Foundry closed.

"This isn't the first time I've been in this type of situation before, so I know what to expect and what to do. I just need to keep the faith and keep on going," Lee said.

Lee hopes he won't need an extension on benefits, but if he does he hopes it's there.

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