Thursday, June 09, 2011

Chance to fix AZ jobless aid better late than never

Back to Capitol Friday

UPDATE, Mon. Jun 13: House Democrats: ‘Shame on GOP for failing to fix jobless aid’

STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX -- House Democrats, who urged Gov. Jan Brewer and Republican lawmakers in April to make a fix to jobless aid, say they fully support a special session that’s better late than never to help middle-class Arizonans.

“Unfortunately, a special session wasn’t necessary to make this fix,” said House Minority Leader Chad Campbell. “We notified Gov. Brewer and Republicans about this back in April and urged them to make the one-word fix while we were on the House floor in the middle of the night.”

House Democrats even provided an avenue to make the fix by proposing to amend HB 2619 to include the fix. But Republicans refused.

“We aren’t sure what changed their minds between now and then,” said House Minority Whip Anna Tovar. “We’re just happy to help struggling Arizona families continue to put food on the table while they search for jobs and help local businesses by bringing $3.5 million a week to our economy.”

If Republicans, who control all of state government, fail to make the fix, 15,000 unemployed Arizonans could lose jobless aid at the end of this week and nearly 30,000 by the end of the year.

"Arizonans need a legislature that's on their side for a better quality of life, but too many majority Republicans have been badly out-of-touch," said Rep. Daniel Patterson of Tucson, a member of the House Employment and Regulatory Affairs Committee. "Families need a hand now in this tough economy and helping people out of work helps us all."

“It’s about time,” Campbell said. “We hope that Republicans finally will listen to us and now the governor and do what is right. Otherwise, we know that Arizonans will hold them accountable.”

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