Two months ago I posted a blog about the stimulus package and how it would affect unemployment insurance (UI) in Texas. Yesterday Gov. Perry rightly rejected the stimulus funds allocated to unemployment insurance saying there were too many strings attached. It would be nice if that was the final word on the issue but sadly it’s not. Shortly after the announcement 5 members of the House Appropriations Committee voted to override the Governor’s decision.

The Committee’s resolution, if upheld by both bodies of the Texas Legislature, will put Texas in jeopardy of suffering further repercussions stemming from the nation’s current economic downturn, and in debt future legislatures along with Texas business.

Representative Jim Pitts, R-Waxahachie was the only Republican to vote for the override. Rep. Pitts, in voting with other grow government members of the panel, is doing Texas no favors as these funds will quickly be gone leaving Texas Taxpayers to pay for the government expansion for decades to come.

Included in the expanded UI are mandates to extend benefits to terminated part time workers, change the base period for purposes of calculating eligibility and including individuals who leave employment for compelling family purposes.

Pitts isn’t the only Republican pressing for the UI funds, mandates or not. Sen. Kevin Eltife of Tyler has filed Senate Bill 1569 that would also circumvent the Governor and pull down the federal stimulus dollars.

Eltife’s bill includes a sunset provision to restore current laws once the federal funds are discontinued. However, this provision is not likely to hold water as the stimulus bill is very clear in stating once the mandated changes are implemented to take the cash, they cannot be rolled back. Ever.

This is the type of policy and program that will not benefit the economy of our state.

I have said before, and will reiterate, that unemployment should be viewed as an indictment on how government is running businesses into the ground, overseas and across the border making it “necessary” to cast the net of welfare over more citizens.

Daniel Greer

Daniel Greer is the Director of Innovation for Texas Scorecard.


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