21 April 2009

Texas Senate "Flips Off" The Governor

Back on March 15, I wrote concerning Texas Governor's Rick Perry's wrongheaded rejection of $555-million in federal unemployment benefits: Governor Perry Lies & State-by-State list of "Stimulus Money".

In that piece, I suggested that our only hope of salvaging that much needed relief for our state's poor and working families would be if we put enough pressure on the legislature to put together a veto-proof override of the Governor.

Yesterday a bi-partisan group of state Senators voted to accepted the unemployment money in direct rebuff of Perry who had adamantly opposed what he calls, "Two many strings".

Nineteen Republicans and all twelve senate democrats were defiant in voting to take the last piece of the stimulus package. Perry had already agreed to take most of the $17-billion stimulus package offered the state.

Perry, and other vested interest and critics of the measure, say they believe the state's employers will be stuck with expanded unemployment benefits.

Proponents of the bill point out that the state's unemployment fund will suffer a $1-billion dollar shortfall by October, which would force the state to borrow money to pay benefits regardless. Acceptance of the bailout money "will immediately save the state some $80-million and lessen the burden on employers", said Kevin Eltife, R-Tyler.

"This is the pro-family thing to do", said Bob Duell, R-Greenville.

Earlier, the senate voted to strip most of Perry's office budget and apply that money to helping military veterans.

Clearly, the senate knows something the out-of-touch with reality governor does not; seniors, retirees, the poor, and worthy working families watching jobs dry-up, 401Ks melt like ice cubes in August, and savings erode, and mortgages being foreclosed are hard-strapped and need this small pittance in relief.

The measure now moves to the Texas House. Remember, we need a veto-proof majority to hand Perry a much needed defeat on this measure. Contact state representatives today and ask them to join with the senate in support of this measure.


D. Karen Wilkerson said...

I am proud that OUR Texas Senator, Kevin Eltife, authored that bill and led the 'defectors' from the GOP to support it. In addition, Eltife expanded support for temporary workers and persons who are unemployed due to family illnesses or family violence. Way to go, Kevin! He may be a Republican, but he's at least representing the people's interests, no matter what his party says.

Shane Fox said...

Thanks. I'm also researching his recently announced stance on deregulation the state's utility companies.

Since deregulation, Texans are paying close to the highest rates in the nation.

It is a scandal!