Latest Conservative Punching Bag: The Jobless

(This article originally appeared in the Stateside Dispatch, Progressive States Network's email roundup of the latest state policy news. Sign up to receive the Dispatch in your inbox here.)

With the debate in D.C. currently centered around exactly how much more federal budget austerity to enact, and with the budget sequester threatening 750,000 jobs nationwide looking more and more likely to go into effect March 1st, the jobless also continue to be under attack in the states. This week, one state signed devastating cuts to their unemployment insurance system into law, another advanced a restructuring of their system that would endanger their federal funding, and efforts to ban employer discrimination against the jobless ran into the veto pen of a billionaire big-city mayor:

North Carolina Gov. Pat McCory signed a devastating bill into law this week that will drastically cut unemployment insurance benefits for the jobless (media were not invited to the bill signing ceremony). [AP]

It turns out one of the lawmakers who voted for the cuts in North Carolina "spent more than a year collecting unemployment checks" himself. [NC Policy Watch]

The Arizona House approved a bill to require workers to prove their eligibility for unemployment insurance benefits — which may violate federal law and put funding of the program in jeopardy. [AP]

New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg vetoed a bill that would ban employers from discriminating against job applicants for being unemployed, but the City Council may override it. [AP]

Kansas joined the ranks of states considering legislation addressing the pressing need to make the jobless urinate into cups before receiving unemployment benefits. [AP]

The sequester may cause jobless workers to lose an average of $400 in benefits through the end of the fiscal year. [ThinkProgress]


Read the full Dispatch from February 23, 2013 here.