Stimulus Unemployment Benefits: Democratic Governor Phil Bredesen may reject unemployment expansion funds too…AL also…
Add a Democrat to the growing ranks of Governors who would rather not raise business taxes in a few years when the Federal money runs out….
Bredesen, who says he is “on a fairly short list” of candidates for health and human services secretary, told a Chattanooga paper that he is considering turning down federal funds for unemployment insurance included in the economic recovery package signed by the president last week.
He would be the first Democrat to refuse part of the stimulus for states, joining Republican governors like South Carolina’s Mark Sanford and Louisiana’s Bobby Jindal, who is giving the GOP response to Obama’s economic address this evening.
Bredesen is concerned that accepting $141 million for Tennessee’s unemployment insurance would force the state to expand the program and leave state taxpayers with the bill in two years’ time.
“We are evaluating this piece of money, whether it makes sense for us to take it,” he said. “We may well be one of the states that say we can’t take on that portion of it.”
ALABAMA UPDATE: From Al.com
Gov. Riley said the $66 million allocated to Alabama for expanded unemployment benefits would run out in four years, leaving the state with a permanent unfunded mandate that would result in a $17-million-a-year tax in crease on employers and possibly employees.
As Gov. Riley noted, this is a tax on jobs “at a time when we need to create jobs.” Gov. Barbour pointed out that “you don’t get more jobs by putting an extra tax on creating jobs.”
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