Unemployment benefits top priority at veto session
Members of the Virginia General Assembly are back in town today to revisit vetoes handed down by Governor Tim Kaine from this year’s legislative session. While the vetoes are what brings the lawmakers to town, the top issue on the agenda will be a fight to change the state’s unemployment benefit standards in order to qualify for additional stimulus money from Washington.
While on the surface this issue seems to be a no brainer, expect the fight at the Capitol to be a bit contentious. Governor Kaine has argued that extending benefits to certain groups is worth the added expense to employers because it will allow the state to take advantage of this additional aid and he believes Virginia’s current benefits are among the worst in the country.
Republicans, particularly in the House of Delegates, are not too keen on the idea of placing an additional burden on business owners in this tight economy and they see this as an opportunity to voice their displeasure with the big spending going on in Washington. Democrats in the House are very aware that it is their chamber that could be the only thing standing in the way of enacting these changes to the jobless benefits package. Yesterday members of their leadership team attempted to get out in front of the issue by holding a conference call to state the case that the measure should be passed.
Andy Jenks is covering this story for us today on NBC12. He will have complete reports tonight at 5 and 6. I will also update Decision Virginia with the latest news on the vote and any other interesting developments that come out of today’s session.