Virginia Republicans to unemployed workers: drop dead
That's pretty much the meaning of the House of Delegates vote last week to reject the changes needed for Virginia to receive an additional $125 million of the unemployment insurance modernization funds from the Recovery Act. (Virginia already has an alternative base period in place, so we automatically get the first $62 million.) They claim it's because the expansion of benefits would cause taxes on business to go up in the long run. What they don't tell you is that the Recovery Act provides enough funding to cover the costs of this expansion for 18 years!
Specifically, the two provisions that they shot down last week would have expanded eligibility to people who are only seeking part-time work (because after all, if you only work part-time, your family must not really need the income, right?) and provided extended benefits to people who are training for a new job (because what the 21st century economy really needs is lots of unskilled labor).