Governor Gavin Newsom told Transportation Security Administration workers in Sacramento on Thursday that California officials are trying to make it possible for them to collect state unemployment benefits, but the U.S. Labor Department getting in the way of that happening. He said he received a letter from the federal officials "threatening" the state if Newsom's plan is implemented. He reassured them that the state will fight back in court. "I'm going to fix that, " promised the governor.
Newsom met with TSA workers at Sacramento International Airport to hear their personal stories of hardship due to the government shutdown and ideas they have for how the state can help them survive financially until it is over.
Several of the furloughed workers said they or others have been denied state unemployment benefits because they are still technically actively working with income that exceeds the threshold for financial assistance.
One TSA worker told the governor that he is now 17 days behind with his rent and is being pressured by his landlord. He is worried that he will end up homeless if the shutdown continues much longer.
Another TSA worker said he is living on his dwindling savings and will eventually have to get loans to make ends meet.
A representative of the Economic Development Department accompanied the governor to explain options for the workers and answer questions about how they would go about filling applications for benefits. The EDD representative promised to look into the idea of providing a temporary field office at the airport.