KERA is running an ongoing story on the budget problems in the State of Texas caused by the inexorable rise in unemployment.
The Governor’s choice not to take all the Federal aid he could have might come back to haunt him. What’s going on in your state?
Texas Gov. Rick Perry told KERA’s Shelley Kofler that he stands by his decision to reject some $555 million in federal stimulus money earmarked for unemployment costs, even in the face of recent projections that Texas may have to borrow up to $2 billion to cover jobless claims.
Perry said it was too early to determine whether the estimate made by Texas Workforce Commission Chairman Tom Pauken earlier this week and reported by KERA was on target.
Rising unemployment has put pressure on state unemployment systems across the nation, many of which have already had to borrow from the federal government, according to an investigative collaboration between American Public Media’s Marketplace and ProPublica.
Growing jobless claims in Texas — where the unemployment rate now stands at 7.5 percent — have created what officials believe will be a $643 million shortfall in the unemployment fund between now and the end of September.