House shafts unemployed workers; on to the Senate | Arkansas Blog

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

House shafts unemployed workers; on to the Senate

Posted By on Wed, Feb 15, 2017 at 2:55 PM

The House voted 62-26 today to slash unemployment benefits — reducing both the amount and weeks of coverage, the latter by 20 percent to a region-leading 16 weeks, down from 20. The move increases   employer profits through a cut in the taxes they pay on benefit payments along with savings from the general reduction reduction in benefits.

There was no demonstrated need for the cuts (the trust fund had swollen to a half-billion dollars) except increasing corporate profits. Advocates say it will trickle down on poor folks eventually, at least on deserving poor folks not unemployed deadbeats.

Your math is correct. A handful of Republicans (3) voted no, including newly minted Republican Rep. Joe Jett, who I've roughed up lately for betraying his past profession of admiration for FDR in recent votes and bill sponsorships. Credit where due today. Here's the roll call. One of the 24 House Democrats didn't vote. One Republican voted present, effectively a no vote.

The Senate isn't likely to be friendlier to unemployed workers. The AFL-CIO earlier outlined in vain all the things wrong with this legislation.

UPDATE: Here's more from Ibby Caputo from our news partner ANNN.

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