March 28th, 2009
12:33 PM ET
11 years ago

On second thought... States take stimulus

The stimulus package is helping states put people to work, but some governors worry what will happen when the funds run out.

The stimulus package is helping states put people to work, but some governors worry what will happen when the funds run out.

NEW YORK ( - It's not that easy to turn down federal funds.

Several governors who initially voiced concerns about expanding state unemployment benefits to qualify for federal stimulus funds have decided to accept the money. Some were feeling the heat from jobless constituents, while others took comfort in learning recently from the federal Department of Labor that they could curtail eligibility later on.

The benefits expansion is among the most controversial components of the stimulus package, and it comes at a time when millions of people across the nation are losing their jobs. The nation's unemployment rate stood at 8.1% in February and is expected to climb to 8.5% when the March figures are released next Friday.

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act requires state legislatures to broaden the unemployment guidelines to allow more women, part-timers and low-wage workers to qualify.

In return, the states will get to partake in a $7 billion federal grant aimed at helping the unemployed. At least 19 states automatically qualify for the funds since they already had widened eligibility.

Some state officials, however, are concerned they will have to fund the expanded program by hiking taxes on employers once the federal money runs out. But they were soon hit by a backlash of anger from state lawmakers, unions and jobless residents.

Full story

Filed under: Stimulus
soundoff (47 Responses)
  1. windfall

    people before politics, governor. learn that.

    March 28, 2009 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  2. Simmy

    Govs. Barbour, Miss., Perry, TX, Palin, Alas, Sanford, SC, and Jindal, LA, were grand-standing. They were exploiting their states at the expense of political manuverings. I hope that their residents have the intelligence to vote them out. Sanford is in his last term, so he had nothing to lose in SC. In the long run, I don't see him as a qualified and or credible candidate for president. As a matter of fact, my answer is none of the above......

    March 28, 2009 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  3. Freeman

    Apparently the voters have spoken.

    March 28, 2009 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  4. Hope

    I knew they would take it, we pay taxes collectively so that we can build our great nation, these guys complain about government and yet they get their pay checks from the same government.

    March 28, 2009 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  5. greg in jax

    of course they are... republicans jump at any opportuntiy to show their partinsanship and disgust for the dems in charge... guess, they have taken a lessen from president obama, take a few days, study the facts, and then speak .... speaking with knowledge is so much more sensible than automatically screaming "socialism, socialism" lol

    March 28, 2009 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  6. white independent

    aaah, go ahead repubs, turn down the money to help mainstreet, its YOUR careers dying, not mine..LOL..what a joke repubs have become, including our own Gov Perry here in Texas...

    March 28, 2009 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  7. Lori

    Mayday! Mayday: Watch the Republican party self-destruct!!! This is hilarious. The Republicans who are so against the President's so-called 'socialism' and are 'fiscally-conservative' (wink! wink!) are taking the 'evil stimulus money'? You mean, they finally realized that while the States who take their federal funds get better and their States suffer, that they'll be ousted in 2010! Hyprocrisy Republicans!!! Don't take the money. It was evil, remember???

    March 28, 2009 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  8. jimmy-ohio

    anyone remember the republican debates in 2008?,,,7 or 8 guys all standing around arguing who was "more conservative" than the others? these governors knew they could play that game because the state legislatures were not about to let people starve just because their governors want to run for president in 4 years

    March 28, 2009 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  9. barking dogs

    The foot draggers will not be forgotten.They will be punished.

    March 28, 2009 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  10. John

    Republicans: For spending until they were against spending.

    March 28, 2009 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  11. John

    Wow what suprise however, CNN has failed to indicate by name what Governors have changed their minds. These republican governors got a lot of press time on CNN when they protested the stimulus but now that they have put their collective tails between their legs, CNN just talks about "several governors".

    If they wanted to make that big of a deal out of their opposition, let's see exactly who we're talking about in this article.

    March 28, 2009 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  12. susie

    Where all the states going to get the money, if businesses go under, to fund unemployment after the stimulus money is gone?

    March 28, 2009 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  13. Walter

    If they backtrack and take the money, that will only prove that their position was never about political principle because only the politics of the situation will have changed.

    And that will also prove what we already suspected – that they were willing to pursue their political ambitions at the expense of the health of their states' economies and the fate of their citizens. They only reversed course when their ambitions were frustrated.

    March 28, 2009 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  14. tony

    So, the governors in Texas, South Carolina, Mississippi and Louisiana are refusing federal help for the unemployed because they say accepting the money is going to make the problem worse. The Republican leader in the Florida House is saying the same thing. Voters should make sure that these people understand the problem a little better by sending them to the unemployment line.

    March 28, 2009 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  15. 60's survivor

    the people speak – not these rogue govenors who are using citizens as political pawns! I live in sc 2nd highest unemployment on the nation.

    March 28, 2009 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  16. Drew

    The same officials against the benefits are not unemployed. People of the the states where officials are against taking the money vote them out of office.

    March 28, 2009 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  17. Jinny Lee

    We all want to recover and we'll do what takes!

    March 28, 2009 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  18. Mel

    See... what they did they were doing to try to make a point. Only they found out that the point was lost when reality came around and smacked them in the face with angry constituents.

    March 28, 2009 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  19. Dace Tucson AZ

    Typical white hood party lies – they blow hot air and hate but if money is involved they would sell their own kids down the river – then couple that with a chance to scream in the media to get attention for their perverted political gain and there you go – the party of hypocrisy.

    March 28, 2009 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  20. Gerda Edwards

    They would have been more than happy to continue to reject the money - IF the citizens of their states would have been given tax credits so that they never had to pay the bill for those who did accept it.

    March 28, 2009 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  21. Targar

    These Governors that refused the money in the beginning now seeing that this thing will work that's why they are changing their minds.GOP!!!

    March 28, 2009 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  22. Jeremy

    I've never understood why the government pays people who aren't working. Isn't that what charities are for?

    March 28, 2009 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  23. Had It

    Everyone knew it could be curtailed later – those governors just wanted to give the Limbaugh/Rove weekly talking points. It's all politics and hate and division from the republicans. No good recommendations, just hate and divide.

    March 28, 2009 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |

    So much for all that phoney political posturing! I guess it must have seemed like a good idea at the time! Can't say I didn't see this coming from a mile away!

    March 28, 2009 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  25. Conservatives are MORONS!!

    All of these states will take the money eventually! There is no doubt!

    March 28, 2009 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
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