Well – here’s an extra lil morning read to ease into your Friday…
Georgia Labor Commissioner Mark Butler is defying Washington by refusing to restart jobless benefits to seasonally unemployed teachers and bus drivers, setting up a showdown between state and federal officials.
“This is really a states’ rights issue. The administration is really over-stepping their bounds,” Butler said Thursday. “We will not back down from something we feel right about. We have the authority to write laws when it comes to unemployment.”
Butler and Georgia Attorney General Sam Olens, who concurs with the Labor commissioner’s interpretation, vow to carry the fight to Washington.
The U.S. Department of Labor is “reviewing Georgia’s new legal position,” a spokesman said without elaboration. Washington officials earlier threatened to cut millions of dollars sent annually to Georgia to administer the unemployment program unless the state relented and resumed the payments.
He makes a good point:
School workers, who are usually re-hired in the fall, aren’t technically considered laid-off – the main criterion to receive jobless benefits. …
He said public school teachers and private pre-k administrators complained last year that the seasonally jobless were receiving benefits unfairly. Pre-k schools are on the hook for additional unemployment insurance costs if a worker files for benefits.
Anyone else hear the “Yeah c’mon” of the states’ rights folks?
“It would be very irresponsible for them to do that,” Butler said. “It’s a pretty serious issue if the states just let the federal government tell us what to do all the time. We’re not trying to pick a fight here. We’re just trying to govern Georgia the way Georgians want us to govern.”