The Arizona Unemployment System, as this writer wrote earlier on May 5, 2020, is “broken and needs to be fixed.”
Nothing has really changed in the last 22 days. As Laurie Roberts of AZ Central commented in a piece on May 26, 2020:
“More than 600,000 Arizonans have applied for unemployment this spring, nearly 25,000 of them just last week.”
The Arizona Unemployment rate is 12.6 percent.
Some of these people, as Roberts reported, have been out of work for two months and have yet to receive dime one from the Arizona Department of Economic Security (DES.)
This writer can verify what many Arizona residents are going through. I have been on leave (because of my type two diabetes) from my job since March 30 and have not even been assigned a caseworker at DES yet. At least that was the story two weeks ago. I have tried to call DES several times since then but have not been able to get through.
I do file my weekly unemployment reports and have submitted supporting documentation from my physician (as required by law that I have to do this in a timely manner) over the last seven weeks but still no news.
Luckily, my wife has savings and a great job that we are able to live.
That probably can not be said for many others who are waiting to receive assistance and have to worry about how to pay for rent/mortgage or food on the table for their kids and themselves.
The great majority of those unemployed (like myself) would prefer to be at work as long as it would be a safe environment free of possible exposure to the Coronavirus.
Some, mostly in the Democratic sphere, would like the federal unemployment supplemental insurance ($600 a week)passed in the C.A.R.E.s Act to be extended past its July expiration.
What do Senator Martha McSally and State Senator Sylvia Allen feel about that?
Essentially, they think it is every person for themselves.
Senator McSally is, at best, noncommittal. While believing (at least publicly) the majority of those on unemployment are not freeloading the system, she did not want to comment on whether an extension of unemployment insurance was merited, saying to the Arizona Republic:
“That’s an eternity from now, and we don’t really have a good sense of where the economy is going. I just focused on what’s the best way to support people and help propel the economy to get bigger.”
Later, in comments to AZ Family, Colonel McSally voiced some support for an extension but would not commit.
People need assurances that they will not be left behind.
Readers should note that Senator McSally voted against the extra $600 a month in unemployment insurance when it was first considered. They should also remember that earlier in the month this same Senator Martha McSally candidly told the Mayor of Surprise and his constituents that they, and other cities and towns, were on their own because her party did not want to bail out blue states (the ones that pay more in federal taxes to subsidize red states like Arizona and Kentucky.)
It should be recognized that her Democratic Senate Opponent, Captain Mark Kelly, favors the extension.
State Senator Sylvia Allen made her feelings known in April when she said that people make so much on unemployment insurance that they have no incentive to go back to work.
Tell that to the people who have not received unemployment insurance after two months yet and are struggling to make ends meet.
Senator Allen reaffirmed her beliefs on May 18, 2020, on the aptly named Conservative Circus with James T. Harris radio show, saying that she, after hearing and reading from sources that people are not returning to work after their employers have requested that they do so, felt vindicated. She later suggested that the state and the federal government should stop giving away “free money.”
Please click here to access the portion of the broadcast where Senator Allen made her views known.
If the sources Senator Allen alluded to are accurate in their assertions, the probable reason these workers do not want to go back is they feel unsafe. That is my reason.
Joe Biden, in an interview with CNN’s Dana Bash, commented that:
“If you’re dead, you have no economic wellbeing. Your family has no economic wellbeing…..Put people in a position where they don’t have to risk their lives to be able to make a living.”
It is time to put people and their safety first before a business or fringe political interests that have no basis in reality.
If people feel safe, they will engage in commerce and go back to work. Sensible business operators will fully reopen their operations.
This is not rocket science and the people should not be left to fend for themselves when public servants have it in their power to make the situation better.
Otherwise, people should look for public servants that will.
- Primary Election Day is on August 4, 2020, and General Election Day is on November 3. 2020.
- Register/sign up for the Permanent Early Voting List (PEVL) in Arizona or any state that allows early or absentee balloting and mail. Arizona residents can sign up at servicearizona.com
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- Check-in with the Secretary of State’s office where you live to verify your mail-in ballot was received, processed, verified, and counted.
- Know the voter ID requirements in your state.
- If you can, support Clean Election Candidates with a small contribution.
- Also, please remember to stay informed on all the candidates and vote for all the offices on the ballot.
- Also, remember to research all the ballot initiatives, sign to get them on the ballot if you support the measure, and vote on them as well.