Monday, March 4, 2013

SB 227 Unemployment Benefit Cuts Bill Passes In Committee, The Fight Goes to the Full Senate Floor

Today the attack on school workers earned benefits and the unemployed continued with a 'unanimous' yes vote of the GA Senate Insurance and Labor committee (with two state Democratic senators not showing up for this critical vote, including 'friend of labor' Sen. Ron Ramsey!).  Now the fight to stop SB 227 moves to the Senate Floor.

Given that this bill was just introduced 4 days ago and the initial deadline to pass this bill is this Thursday, March 7th, we expect the Senate to bring this bill to a vote this week!  We need everyone to continue to contact their senators and tell them to oppose SB 227. 

Please send a message to your GA State Senators telling them to oppose SB 227. They need to know that SB 227 harms struggling hard working employees and hurts our state's economy.

Also please call our Senators, especially the Republican ones and tell them to vote against SB 227 when it comes up for a vote. You can look up the phone numbers of all State Senators here:

Sample Call Script:
Hello my name is _____________,
I am calling to urge you to vote no on, SB 227, a bill that would eliminate unemployment benefits for over 60,000 educational workers in GA. This bill is not fair because these workers are laid off multiples times a year during school breaks and most have no income during these periods. They do not have the same job security and benefits as public educational workers. They require unemployment benefits every time they are laid off in order to survive.


SB 227 Background Information:
SB 227 makes the unemployment benefits cuts imposed on over 64,000 workers by GA Labor Commissioner Mark Butler permanent under law.  The workers that this impacts are private-sector workers in the education industry who are typically laid off multiple times a year during school breaks.  These school workers are living paycheck to paycheck working hard for limited pay and they require unemployment benefits to survive during these breaks.

Fortunately, the US Department of Labor challenged Mark Butler in his decision to cut benefits for these worker. They claimed that he had violated state and federal guidelines and threatened to cut off $72 million in federal administrative grants to the GA Department of Labor if the benefits were not restored. Unfortunately, the USDOL has not followed through with this action and now this issue has landed in front of the GA State Senate. 

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