Monday, July 14, 2014

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Texas asks for federal help after rejected stimulus money

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TWC News: Texas asks for federal help after rejected stimulus money
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Texas has known for months that the funds to pay unemployed Texans were running dry.

"The balance is depleting faster than we expected," Texas Workforce Commission officer Ann Hatchitt said.

Texas is now asking the federal government for a $170 million loan so that benefits keep getting paid.

"This is nothing out of the ordinary. We're following protocol that we put in place," said Governor Rick Perry.

Texas has asked for this loan only one other time, in 2003. This year however, the decision is getting extra attention after Governor Rick Perry rejected federal stimulus money that would have replenished the fund. Perry said the stimulus would have expanded eligibility and cost more to business owners in the long run. Many are now questioning that decision.

"That $555 million would that would have come with the stimulus money wouldn't have to be paid back to the federal government and that would have saved business taxpayers money for the next 20 years," said Rep. Mark Strama, D-Austin.

Despite the loan, Gov. Perry defended his decision to those who questioned it.

"They are shortsighted and probably criticizing for a political reason rather than a legitimate financial reason," Gov. Perry said.

Financial reasons highlight the fact that this loan would be one of many.

"We are expecting to need to borrow about $650 million from the federal government through October 1st, to pay for unemployment benefits", Hatchitt said.

The state is doing this to insure Texans who deserve help are able to get it.

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