Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Governor Gibbons sees the light

I am sure it was my call that made the difference. :-)

Nevada's governor has decided to accept all of the federal stimulus funds allocated for our state. He had previously stated that he might not take money for extended unemployment benefits.

Here is the press release his office sent me:

Governor Jim Gibbons today announced he will accept all unemployment funds available to Nevada in the Stimulus Package. The total amount available to Nevada in unemployment insurance stimulus dollars is over $291 million. Governor Gibbons has already accepted a large segment of Stimulus Package funds to provide extended benefits to unemployed men and women in Nevada . The Governor was reluctant to accept $77-million dollars that would require an expansion of coverage to people not previously eligible for unemployment benefits. The Governor was concerned that Nevada businesses would be left to cover the cost of expanded coverage when stimulus dollars run out. However, the federal government has recently assured states that the expanded coverage base can be retracted in the future, before funding for such coverage becomes a permanent state obligation.

“As our economic crisis deepens, Nevadans are suffering because of layoffs, business closings and other cutbacks,” Gibbons said, “We have the responsibility to do everything we can to help our unemployed workers get through these difficult times, even if that means passing legislation that we would not necessarily approve during prosperous times.” Gibbons noted, “I’m willing to approve this expanded coverage with the understanding that the issue will be revisited in a future legislative session before federal dollars expire. Our citizens deserve all the help we can find while they try to cope with unexpected misfortunes.”

Governor Gibbons will work with legislators to develop a plan that will provide financial relief to those in need now, without penalizing businesses in the future.

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