After much debate, HB 109 has passed the House on a 41-28 vote; if the bill had been killed, 17,000 unemployed Idahoans would have been booted off their extended federal unemployment benefits over the next nine months. Rep. Dennis Lake, R-Blackfoot, the sponsor of HB 109 and the House tax committee chairman, said though some people may game the system, he has a place in his heart for those who have lost their jobs through no fault of their own. “I think this is legislation that we will pay dearly if we do not pass,” he said/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise.
“If we continue this, all we are going to do is enable,” said Rep. Vito Barbieri, R-Dalton Gardens. “We're out of money. … At some point we have to stand up and say, 'That's enough.'”
Rep. Dick Harwood, R-St. Maries, said, “I think we would be better off to get people back to work, try to get the economy flowing. If we keep giving 'em money, that isn't going to happen.”
- For: Reps. Anderson & Eskridge.
- Against: Reps. Barbieri, Chadderdon, Hart, Harwood, Henderson, McMillen, Nonini, & Sims.
Question: Are you surprised that all representatives from House Districts 2-5 voted against extending benefits to the unemployed?