The Austin Chronicle

A Commonsense Solution to Stupidity

By Richard Whittaker, April 24, 2009, News

Gov. Rick Perry's refusal to take $555 million in federal unemployment insurance cash has taken a double blow from legislators. On April 20, the Senate passed Senate Bill 1569, which will place the state in compliance with the Federal Unemployment Insurance Modern­iz­ation provision of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act: In simple terms, by making changes to the state's unemployment law (including allowing job-seekers looking for full- or part-time positions to apply for benefits), Texas can receive the federal cash. This came after Reps. Yvonne Davis, D-Dallas, and Armando Walle, D-Houston, amended the state budget so that if Perry refuses to accept the reforms, his Texas Enterprise Fund loses its $136 million budget and the cash goes to the comptroller's Employment and Training Investment Holding Fund. Texas AFL-CIO President Becky Moeller called this a "step in overcoming political and ideological opposition to a commonsense move."

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