According to an article in the Dallas Morning News, Governor Rick Perry is still fighting to kill legislation that would allow the state to accept more than a half-billion dollars in stimulus money for unemployment benefits.

If the state of Texas accepts the stimulus money for unemployment insurance, they will be required to expand the unemployment benefits program to include people who are seeking part-time work and make changes that would allow the amount of unemployment benefits received to be determined by more recent paychecks possibly increasing the amount of money an unemployed worker would receive.

Governor Perry is against these measures because he believes that they would expand the scope of unemployment insurance benefits into perpetuity.

The article said:

Saying “it might look kindly on the front end,” the governor warned that the measure would expand benefits into perpetuity because lawmakers usually lack the political will to curtail such programs. “Cutting government programs that are put in place that are entitlements are almost impossible to cut,” Perry said.

“Bottom line: This will cost businesses $75 million a year from here forward, and that will cause them to hire fewer people,” Perry said. “It’s not good for Texas employers; it’s not good for Texas employees.”

Right now, millions of Americans are out of work and that includes many Texans. Because of the rapid changes in the employment landscape, unemployed workers are simply not finding full-time work they way they were during the boom. After a job loss many unemployed workers lose their homes to foreclosure because they can’t get by on the paltry amount of unemployment benefits they receive AND they can’t find work making a living wage.

We need to do something about this problem or we’re going to be facing a crisis on a scale similar or even surpassing the Great Depression. Unemployment insurance is a much needed safety net for workers and their families, it needs to be protected and reinforced.

The measures proposed will add much need funding to Texas unemployment benefits program and protect more families as the number of job losses in this country increase. Governor Perry may need to back down on this one.