Monday, June 13, 2011

Arizona Legislature abandons unemployed Arizonans

On Friday, we know this was coming, but there was always a spark of hope that someone would sit them down this weekend an gently explain to them the PR benefits of making a one word change to Arizona law so that 15,000 of Arizona's long-term unemployed could collect extended unemployment benefits.

Or maybe someone would explain to the legislative types how the money wouldn't come from the state but would add more than $3 million per week to Arizona's cratered economy.

Note that I'm not mentioning the fact that it was simply the right thing to do, because that's a moral and ethical argument, and those hold no sway at 1700 West Washington.

From the Phoenix New Times, written by Stephen Lemons -
The state Legislature recessed indefinitely today from its special session without making a minor change in state law that would allow some 45,000 unemployed Arizonans to continue to receive unemployment checks.

Around 15,000 out-of-work Sand Landers will receive a check this week, and then no more. The Arizona Department of Economic Security estimates that another 30,000 would qualify for the federal extension by the end of the year.
From the Arizona Capitol Times, written by Luige del Puerto -
...Sen. Ron Gould, R-Lake Havasu City, was even harsher in criticizing the governor.

“She did it just to spite us,” he said. “She’s created a bunch of grief for us by calling us into a special session that had no deal, on 24 hours’ notice, (on) the day before the deadline, so she could throw us under the bus on Saturday morning.”


But Rep. Eddie Farnsworth, R-Gilbert, said it would be disingenuous for legislators to complain about federal overspending but take every dollar offered to the state.

“Almost every day we’re here, we complain about the federal government spending,” he said. “But when they’re willing to give us some of that money, we say, ‘Oh, we’ll take it.’”

The vote to adjourn the special session was along party lines, with 16 Republicans voting to go home without working to help their constituents, 5 Democrats voting to stay at work until the job was done right, and 9 members from both sides of the aisle absent for one reason or another.

I wonder if the 45,000 Arizonans thrown under the ideological bus by the Republicans in the legislature (15K now, and another 30K by the end of the year) will remember this when they have a ballot in their hands next year?

Bonus "I wonder":

I wonder who's going to break the news to Rep. Farnsworth that he's part of the *Arizona Legislature,* not the *U.S. Congress*?


No comments: