Gov. Bobby Jindal (R-LA) took a lot of criticism last week for declaring his intention to turn down the unemployment insurance parts of the Obama Administration’s economic stimulus aid. Jindal noted that the legislation written by the leftist majorities in Congress required states to permanently expand their unemployment insurance programs which would raise taxes on struggling small businesses today. Jindal urged other governors to actually read the bill so they knew what they were getting into.
Well Gov. Phil Bredesen (D-TN) has done just that. The Chattanooga Times Free Press now reports that Bredesen “may turn down some of the economic stimulus money if the restrictions outlined in the package cause budgetary hardship in the future.” More from TFP:
After meeting with President Barack Obama, Tennessee Gov. Phil Bredesen said some provisions in the package for unemployment benefits would force states to expand their programs permanently, even though the stimulus funding only lasts for two years.
“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.”
Of issue is the package’s unemployment modernization provisions, which require states to update their unemployment insurance systems and provide jobless benefits to workers who now don’t qualify for benefits.