Today the Republican-controlled Virginia House of Delegates declined to join the Democratic-controlled Virginia Senate in backing Governor Tim Kaine’s request to amend the state’s unemployment laws. By doing so, Virginia will be rejecting $125 million in federal stimulus money which would have provided benefits to Virginia’s unemployed.
According to the Washington Post, Gov. Kaine said, “There’s an awful lot of people who are hurting in Virginia, and the message to them seemed to be: We don’t care. Fend for yourself.”
That’s a nicer way of saying to the unemployed, suck it.
Bob McDonnell, for his part, backed the defeat of Gov. Kaine’s proposal. So much for McDonnell’s “New Jobs, New Opportunities Tour”. I guess McDonnell believes Virginia’s unemployed can find a new job or stretch their existing unemployment until he takes office in January 2010 — 9 months from now.
The Virginian-Pilot reports that the vote was largely on partisan lines. 53 Delegates voted to defeat Gov. Kaine’s proposal to accept $125 million in federal stimulus money for expanded unemployment benefits. 46 Delegates voted with the Governor. Voting with Gov. Kaine were two Republicans and 44 Democrats. Voting against Gov. Kaine were 50 Republicans, one Democrat and two independents.
Shame on Del. Joe Johnson (D-Abingdon) who was the only Democrat in the House of Delegates to vote with the Republicans.
If you’re unemployed in Virginia or if you know someone who is, perhaps you might want to pass on the telephone number for the General Assembly or call your Delegate directly. Here’s the list of telephone numbers and here’s a link to find out who represents you and here’s how your Delegate voted.