Monday, April 20, 2009

It is day 100 and what is your legislature doing?

Yes, you read it correctly. Today marks 100 days that the legislature has been in session.

Still no FY 2010 budget, but we are hearing two bills in the Senate Commerce and Economic Development committee that will help the state obtain federal stimulus dollars.

SB 1102 is regarding AHCCCS eligibility redetermination, which will address a change that was made in the budget in 2008. Last week, Democrats called attention to the $6,400 a week the state is facing in fines for not changing the redetermination period for childless adults from current 6-month period back to the 12-month period. Keeping the 6-month period is a violation of ARRA's Maintenance of Effort requirements. Every day that the Legislature does nothing, the state incurs another $6,400.00. That means, in the 3 weeks since the state drew down this money, the Legislature has potentially already wasted approximately $135,000.

SB 1322 is regarding unemployment insurance benefits. This bill would provide an additional 13 to 20 weeks of unemployment insurance benefits while the state is under a high level of unemployment. This provision expires when the federal stimulus dollars expire or the week ending Dec. 12, whichever is later.

The bills will be heard today at 1:30 p.m. in the Senate Commerce and Economic Development committee.






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