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McDonnell Opposes Unemployment Stimulus

Anita Kumar

As the General Assembly returns to Richmond today, Democrats are calling on GOP gubernatorial nominee Robert F. McDonnell to urge Republican legislators to change Virginia's unemployment system so the state can take advantage of $125 million in federal stimulus money.

That's going to be a tough sell.

Through his spokesman, McDonnell said he opposes changes that could mean higher taxes for businesses once the stimulus money is exhausted.

"Bob McDonnell is highly supportive of the stimulus money being used to compensate displaced full time workers in Virginia,'' said Tucker Martin, McDonnell's spokesman. "However, creating an unfunded federal mandate to permanently expand benefits with one time funding poses an undue hardship on the taxpayers and employers. Thus the long term effect would not be good for economic development."

The change would increase the rate at which employers pay into the state unemployment trust fund by up to $4.50 more per worker, per year.

"This is not a time for partisanship,'' said Del. Kenneth R. Plum (D-Fairfax), chairman of the House Democratic caucus. "It's time to do what is right for Virginia."

The Virginia Chamber of Commerce and other business groups oppose the proposal. If legislators approve it, thousands of Virginians who work part time or are in approved job training programs would become eligible to receive benefits.

The General Assembly returns to the state Capitol for a one-day session today to consider Gov. Timothy M. Kaine's amendments and vetoes.

By Anita Kumar  |  April 8, 2009; 10:35 AM ET
Categories:  Anita Kumar  
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Comments

There is no crystal ball for the future. We cannot talk about what will happen tomorrow when people suffer today. "Permanent" - WTF? The legislature has the power to amend any decision, in fact, to amend the constitution of Virginia. This is a complete cop-out. 58 members of the House of Delegates turned away money that could have put food in the mouths of Virginians. I WANT NAMES!

I'm a small business owner. I pay my own health insurance and taxes. Do I support this? Yes I do. And I'll take you back one step further - my grandmother was the first Superintendent of Public Welfare for the City of Radford, VA. She served from 1936 to 1972. She is spinning in her grave I can assure you. You do not allow people to suffer for some future "might be" scenario. It's time to clean house in the House of Delagates!

Posted by: csread | April 9, 2009 12:29 AM | Report abuse

There is no crystal ball for the future. We cannot talk about what will happen tomorrow when people suffer today. "Permanent" - WTF? The legislature has the power to amend any decision, in fact, to amend the constitution of Virginia. This is a complete cop-out. 58 members of the House of Delegates turned away money that could have put food in the mouths of Virginians. I WANT NAMES!

I'm a small business owner. I pay my own health insurance and taxes. Do I support this? Yes I do. And I'll take you back one step further - my grandmother was the first Superintendent of Public Welfare for the City of Radford, VA. She served from 1936 to 1972. She is spinning in her grave I can assure you. You do not allow people to suffer for some future "might be" scenario. It's time to clean house in the House of Delagates!

Posted by: csread | April 9, 2009 12:30 AM | Report abuse

I agree that it is time to clean house in the House of Delegates. These republicans cannot bring themselves to help thousands of Virginians who are suffering. They are playing politics with peoples lives and homes.

Posted by: Fiddle | April 9, 2009 5:23 PM | Report abuse

Let me get this right. $4.50 per year and this is a lot to spend to help Americans.

You can always tell a Republican. It always “No” for the workingman and yes for big business and the well off.

Perhaps he needs to be unemployed with a family and see how it is to live in the real America, not the world he lives in where he receives money daily from lobbyist, banks and big business. Why do you think health care is so poor in this country, they have allowed it to happen, just like immigration issues that’s been going on for 30 years.

Vote the guy and his type of thinking out of office as well as the rest of the just say 'No" party.

I am sick of them going against everything what Obama is trying to do to help us out of this mess handed over to him. Just to put a roadblock up, not for what is good for our country.

How about them putting our country first and party and distant second. This is the time to all come together and get us through this mess.

Then they can go back to politics as "usual". However, be an America first right now.

They are not living in the real world anymore, stuck in their own political spin and trying not to face up to the mess their party and their President caused to the men and women of this country.

They have and always will be the party of the rich, banks, and big business.

They care little about the mom and pop businesses, which they help to pass laws where the big businesses could continue to buy up the small businesses or put them out of business.

We all have to grow past party lines and start working to make America work again, if not 90% of us will suffer while they and the well off will continue to live the good life at our expense.

I am sick of it.

Posted by: pjaud | April 10, 2009 3:06 AM | Report abuse

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