Haslam firm in decision to not extend unemployment benefits

Friday, May 20, 2011 at 11:25am

Gov. Bill Haslam has rejected the pleas of Democrats to extend unemployment benefits for thousands of Tennesseans.

The governor’s spokeswoman, Alexia Poe, said Friday he has told lawmakers he will oppose taking the money from his proposed state budget or from the state’s emergency reserve funds.

“Our budget reflects our top priorities,” Poe said, adding that Haslam “did see it as historic that there had already been 79 weeks of benefits” paid to the jobless.

Benefits ran out in April for 28,000 Tennesseans after the legislature failed to enact a law to extend them. It would cost roughly $3 million in state and local funds to draw nearly $58 million in federal money to extend those benefits for up to 20 more weeks.

Democratic Party chairman Chip Forrester has criticized Haslam and Republican lawmakers for refusing to fund the extra benefits.

“Gov. Bill Haslam and Republican legislators haven’t lived up to their promise to create jobs, and now their negligence is jeopardizing critical financial support that is keeping children fed, bills paid and families out of foreclosure,” Forrester said.

Filed under: City News

6 Comments on this post:

By: Jimapalooza on 5/20/11 at 9:51

Let me get this straight, the state is eliminating 1100 employment positions, there is no money for unemployment benefits, there is no money for teachers, but there is money for Bill Haslam to give all his newly appointed commissioners an 11% raise? Some of these commissioners make over 150,000 a year as it is. There 11% raise is over half of my yearly income. “Our budget reflects our top priorities,” Poe said. I guess we can see that thier top priorities lie in thier pockets.

By: dva56 on 5/20/11 at 10:40

Let me get this straight. $3 million in state funds will secure $58 million in Federal funds to help 28,000 unemployed Tennesseans. Mr Haslam, you should be ashamed of yourself. Your lack of empathy for your fellow citizens is astounding.

By: pswindle on 5/20/11 at 4:33

Haslam and the GOP do not give a damn. Just wait until they need a little help, it will be great in saying, "so sorry."

By: Wompcat on 5/21/11 at 5:43

Haslam is correct, time to put a stop to the free ride.

By: jstandi on 5/21/11 at 11:30

Work is not a four letter word. We need more people working - it's good for the soul and for the community.
You can't lower unemployment by paying people to stay at home or take "cash" job. Unemployment insurance is intended to bridge to a new job - and if you can't find an $80K job at GM - then time to get real and take work at one of the many open jobs. Jobs is not the issue - we need people to work.

By: richgoose on 5/23/11 at 5:15

Haslam is doing absolutely the right thing. There are plenty of jobs available out there. If jobs are not available why are there so many illegals coming into this country in order to get work?

Hooray for the Governor in its efforts to restore a desire to work.