State Capitol News
Fri May 20, 2011
Brewer to Curtail Federal Spending but Not to Arizonans Recieving Jobless Aid
Phoenix, AZ – That exception is to help about 15,000 Arizonans continue to receive federally funded jobless aid. Thursday's announcement the state's unemployment rate has dropped means these long-term unemployed -- those out of work for more than 79 weeks -- will lose their benefits next month. But Brewer is now supporting a change in state law that would keep the checks coming. That, however, means taking more cash out of the federal treasury.
(I've always basically felt there is no such thing as a free lunch. But the bottom line is with unemployment, we know that we have lots of people here in Arizona that are depending on those dollars to put food on the table for their families.)
The governor pointed out that if Arizona makes the change in law, the dollars will be coming from Washington.
(It's coming from probably some of our taxpayers. But it's not coming out of our economy or our budget. Several other states have already adopted it. So that they will be getting those dollars. So, yes, we could be cutting our nose off and not take those dollars to benefit Arizona. Bringing in 3 to 4 million dollars a week into the economy is going to benefit everyone.)
Any change will require a special session within weeks to prevent a cutoff of benefits. And that requires consent of Republican legislative leaders, consent they have yet to give. For Arizona Public Radio this is Howard Fischer.