13 March, 2009

Who really needs $555 million anyway?

Our esteemed governor, Rick "The Coif" Perry, has pulled a Marie Antoinette and said "No" to $555 million in stimulus bill funds because the state would have to broaden the qualifications for unemployment benefits:
(from today's Austin American-Statesman)
"To get any of the money, the state would need to adopt a new method for determining whether a worker has earned enough in wages to qualify for benefits. About 30,000 workers would become eligible with this change, which would make $185 million available, according to the National Employment Law Project.

Of the four other possible changes, only two need to be enacted to get the remaining $370 million. The two least-expensive options — and the ones most likely to be enacted — would extend eligibility to people looking for part-time employment and those who quit their jobs to move with a spouse for a new job or for "compelling family reasons," such as family illness. About 16,000 workers would be affected by the change."

Actually, this was my favorite line in the article:

"Perry said he and his staff will continue to review the stimulus package to see whether there are other aspects of it that they want to fight."

The image I get is of a petulant child. Well, Rick, you and Bobby and Haley can skulk off to your clubhouse and congratulate yourselves on jobs well done.


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