Governor Rick Perry announced today he is refusing some of the federal dollars that are part of President Obama's stimulus plan. Perry says it's not in our state's best interest, and would end up hurting more than helping. Governor Perry's been openly against President Obama's stimulus package all along. Today he accepted most of the $17 billion dollars slated for Texas, but declined the unemployment benefits totaling $555 million.
Those benefits would have been expanded to include part-time workers. Governor Perry says changing state guidelines regarding unemployment insurance would hurt more than help, saying it would require an increased tax burden on businesses and the last thing those already struggling need is higher taxes and expanded obligations to the federal government. He adds it would counteract the package's original goal of creating jobs by forcing companies to limit hiring and raise prices to counteract the tax hikes.
Folks at Lubbock's WorkForce Solutions who work to help the locally unemployed say Governor Perry did the right thing.
Danny Soliz, Director of Business Development, WorkForce Solutions: "Unemployment insurance is not a whole lot. That's just a temporary income to help you while you're looking for work. That's why we're doing our best to get them back in the workforce, as quickly as possible. The problem still is, you know, what happens when the money runs out. Nobody wants to talk about that. I can see where Governor Perry is really standing for the Texas employers."
Governor Perry is the second governor to decline that money. The rejected stimulus dollars will now go to other states, but the governor says tax dollars will not leave Texas.