Thursday, April 30, 2009

Expansion of unemployment benefits press conference

The Senate Democratic Caucus held a press conference this afternoon to discuss the failure of the Senate Republican Caucus to support passage of SB460. SB460, sponsored by Senate Pro Tem Rodger Smitherman (D) of Birmingham, would allow persons who do not qualify for unemployment compensation to have their eligibility re-determined.

The democratic caucus accused the senate republicans of having no plan, no agenda, no vision to help Alabama out of the worst economic time in its history, and no votes for Alabama families, domestic violence victims, workers, or the Senate Democratic Caucus stimulus plan.

Senator Trip Pittman (R) from Baldwin County offered the opposing side’s view. He called this bill a short term plan that would cost more money for businesses and the citizens of Alabama in the long term. Pittman said this plan is unreasonable and unsustainable for the future.

The cost of expansion, using federal stimulus money, is $100 million, which would be paid through the program from calendar year 2010 to 2013. Beginning in 2014, the cost to the state would be $22 million.

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