According to an article in the Dallas Morning News, Texas Governor Rick Perry is considering not accepting stimulus money that would require him to expand the unemployment insurance program making more unemployed workers eligible for the program benefits. Perry argues that the program would expand unemployment eligibility; but once the stimulus money is exhausted, Texas taxpayers would be left paying the cost of the expanded program. And the stimulus bill forbids states from inserting provisions into the unemployment expansion making it temporary.
Currently the number of unemployed workers is increasing rapidly in Dallas-Fort Worth; and an expansion of the unemployment program may be necessary to catch those who fall through the crack of the program. Right now many unemployed workers are facing foreclosures because they are not able to find new employment within a reasonable about of time. Expanding the unemployment program may be the best option that Dallas-Fort Worth has to help stop the negative effects that long-term unemployment is having on the foreclosure crisis.
If we find that the unemployment program becomes too costly after the stimulus money runs out we can always repeal the expansion after two years. But it may not be wise for us to turn away from this stimulus package for the sake of avoiding some possible future bill because right now, we simply can’t afford to NOT take the money.