Kaine proposes insurance expansionMore taxes on Virginia's businesses. More burdens many cannot shoulder.
By Michael Sluss, Roanoke Times
Richmond -- Gov. Tim Kaine appears likely to face opposition from Republican legislative leaders and business groups as he develops a plan to accept enhanced unemployment benefits from the federal government, a step that would require the state to expand eligibility for the insurance program.
Kaine said Thursday that he is developing a proposal to expand unemployment eligibility so that Virginia meets requirements for receiving $125 million in benefit enhancements from the federal government. The funds are part of the economic recovery package Congress passed last month.
With a 6.4 percent unemployment rate, Virginia is already eligible for $62.5 million in additional federal unemployment funds. But some Republican legislative leaders and business groups have raised concerns about accepting the additional $125 million, warning that it could drive up taxes on Virginia businesses. That's because Virginia would have to change state law to extend benefits to at least two classes of workers. [link]
It's rumored that the Chinese are very supportive of Tim's initiative.