The Chairman of the Democrat Party and part time Governor of Virginia, Tim Kaine, threw a temper tantrum yesterday when the Republican controlled House of Delegates turned down stimulus money which would have required Virginia to change their unemployment insurance laws. Governor Kaine, paraphrasing Christ poorly, stormed, “I don’t get mad about politics. I get angry when the ‘least of these’ get pushed around.”
The Republican House, refusing to be pushed around by the Chairman of the Democrat Party masquerading as the Governor of Virginia, did make some changes in benefits for people who have lost their jobs, but deciced not to extend unemployment insurance to part time workers which was a requirement for taking stimulus money. Stimulus money is expected to run out in two years, but the expense of adding part time workers to unemployment insurance would be an ongoing expense. This is the reason that several states (most with Republican governors) have refused to accept the stimulus unemployment insurance.
Delegate Phil Hamilton released a public statement:
While much has been written about the House of Delegates’ vote against permanently changing Virginia’s unemployment insurance law through a federal government mandate in order to receive $125 million in short-term, temporary federal funding…General Assembly approved initiatives that (1) strike a balance between the needs of laid-off workers through a modest expansion of unemployment insurance benefits and access to the health care safety net, (2) limit future tax increases on the small and large businesses of Virginia that we count on to employ those seeking a job, and (3) providing tax incentives and additional funding to create jobs throughout the Commonwealth.
House Bill 1889 …extends the period of time that unemployed Virginians can receive unemployment benefits from the traditional 26 weeks by up to an additional 33 weeks – or 59 weeks – of coverage.
House Bill 2024 …establishes a “mini-COBRA” program to allow employees of small businesses to have better access to the federal health insurance premium assistance program.
House Bill 2056 …provides incentive grants to Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding, but only if the company makes a $300 million capital investment, creates 1000 new full-time jobs, and maintains a 750- member apprentice program within the next twenty-one months.
House Bill 2575 extends the current major business facility job tax credit from January 1, 2010, to January 1, 2020. This tax credit is provided to major businesses that create new full-time jobs in the Commonwealth.
The budget also restored the funding reductions proposed by Governor Kaine to Virginia’s community health centers and free clinics. These health care assets are critical in providing needed health care services to those citizens who are unable to afford health insurance.
Economic development and state government employment policies are not enumerated powers of the federal government in the United States Constitution. As a result, it is the state government through the Tenth Amendment to that constitution that must establish and implement such policies. The actions of a majority of the members of the Virginia General Assembly have responded with balanced and comprehensive measures to address the problems caused by the current economy.
Referencing the United States Constitution! What a concept!