Posted by AzBlueMeanie:
If the legislature fails to fix the unemployment compensation statute by amending just one word, they should all be forced to live on nothing but an unemployment check (based upon their $24,000 yearly legislative salary) until they do fix it. The $240 mentioned below is the maximum benefit from Arizona.
Press release from the Pima County Democratic Party:
The Pima County Democratic Party challenges state Sen. Al Melvin (R-Saddlebrooke) to live on $240 a week and back up his suggestion that unemployment insurance is the cause of the Great Recession because, apparently, the jobless are living large.
Melvin, who represents Tucson's Northwest Side, was quoted in the Arizona Republic opposing the extension of unemployment insurance to 99 weeks, which is available throughout the country, to nearly 20,000 Arizonans who still can't find a job in a state with jobless rate of 9.5 percent.
“The shorter the period (people get unemployment benefits), the faster people go back to work,” Melvin said.
There aren't jobs to go back to, in a state where the unemployment rate has barely budged in the last few months. Lawmakers like Melvin wasted the Legislative session on birther bills, stripping public school budgets, Tea Party license plates and fighting to put guns on college campuses.
Meanwhile, only Mississippi delivers a smaller unemployment benefit than Arizona's $240 weekly check and that money is taxed. That's less than $12,000 a year for teachers, cops and firefighters the Legislature has forced into unemployment — and for construction workers, engineers and veterans, looking for the rare job in Arizona's listless economy. The move, which wouldn’t cost the legislature a dime will cost the Arizona economy $68 million this year, something Arizonans can't afford.
“What Al Melvin is saying is that people live pretty comfortably on unemployment and would rather do nothing so they can make $12,000 a year,” said Pima County Democratic Party Chair Jeff Rogers. “We challenge Cap’n Al to pay his mortgage, buy groceries and gasoline, plus keep his lights on up in Saddlebrooke on $240 a week. Have him turn in his debit card and credit cards for three months in exchange for an unemployment insurance card and have a go.”