CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) — Governor Jim Justice announced today that as of June 19th, the state will no longer give out 300-dollar unemployment supplements to people’s federal benefits. Many businesses complained that employees were not returning to work because they were collecting more on unemployment.
“West Virginians will have access to thousands of jobs, right now, and we need everybody back to work. Our small business and our economy depend on it so much,” said Gov. Jim Justice, (R) West Virginia.
Senator Shelley Moore Capito did not vote in favor of the $300 supplements, but said the state will likely have to send the funds back to Washington, where it can be used elsewhere.
“When people ask for ways to pay for an infrastructure bill, I’ve got my eye on that money. If states aren’t using the $300 dollars in their unemployment, I think it ought to go back. And I would like to grab it to pay for new infrastructure,” said Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, (R) West Virginia.
Many Democrats oppose ending the $300 dollar checks.
“And it was meant to help people who are struggling and maybe the governor doesn’t really know what that is like since he was born with millions of dollars,” said Del. Mike Pushkin, (D) Kanawha.
Governor Justice is now talking about the state offering a $500 dollar incentive for people to go back to work, along with a $500 signing bonus from the employer, for an even $1,000 dollars.
“West Virginia’s unemployment rate has dropped to 5-point-6 percent, and the governor says only 24-thousand people here are receiving the supplemental unemployment benefits,” said Mark Curtis, 13 Chief Political Reporter.