Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal Apparently Hates Louisiana
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When President Barack Obama signed the Economic Recovery and Reinvestment Act last week, it included three provisions to benefit unemployed workers. The first provided funding to states that allowed for a $25 per week increase in benefits. The second extended the Emergency Unemployment Compensation program, which gives 20 weeks of federally funded unemployment benefits to individuals "who had already collected all regular state benefits," and the third provision widened the pool of people eligible to receive unemployment benefits.
Today, however, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal announced his intention to oppose changing state law to allow his state's citizens to qualify for the second two unemployment provisions. Jindal, a Republican, said the state would only be accepting money to increase the unemployment insurance payments for those who currently qualify for unemployment insurance.
In all, Jindal turned away nearly $100 million in federal aid for his state's unemployed residents. Further, as the National Employment Law Project projected on Feb. 13, EUC extension alone would have benefited 24,981 Louisiana residents. Jindal justified his decision by claiming that expanding unemployment benefits would result in tax increases for businesses. In a press release, the governor's office explained: