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Feb 27,2009
Anger among jobless over benefit rejection
by UPI

NEW YORK - Anger was reported among the jobless as nine mostly southern U.S. governors consider rejecting stimulus money for unemployment benefits, officials say.

The recently passed federal stimulus bill includes millions of dollars for incentives to states to expand benefits to many more jobless people.

But, Republican governors of Texas, Georgia, Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi and South Carolina, along with Alaska and Idaho, and the Democratic governor of Tennessee, have expressed reservations, The New York Times (NYSE:NYT) said Friday.

The governors contend that once the federal money ran out, in two or three years in some states, they would have to continue providing the new benefits, which they say would force them to raise taxes on businesses, the Times reported.

"I remain opposed to using these funds to expand existing government programs, burdening the state with ongoing expenditures long after the funding has dried up," Texas Gov. Rick Perry wrote U.S. President Barack Obama last week.

A number of unemployed workers told the Times they were incensed to learn they were living in one of a handful of states, many of them among the poorest in the nation, that might not provide the expanded benefits.

One of them, Henry Kight of Austin, Texas, called it an "unreasonable" move "when people probably need the help the most, one governed by "partisan activity, or partisan feelings, against the current new administration."

© 2009 United Press International. All Rights Reserved.

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