Hunger a great motivator
Here’s an idea: Instead of wasting money at $1,200 a pop to get Alaskans to head back to work – as one state senator suggests – why not spend the dough on hiring more state troopers?
Sen. Bill Wielechowski wants to spend $10 million to “provide a one-time bonus of $1,200” to get folks back to work.
The budget is in Conference Committee, a panel to iron out differences between the House and Senate versions of the state budget.
Alaska employers – and those in other states – have complained the federal bonus unemployment payments, which are about to end, were so generous people are unwilling work.
Twenty-five states, including Alaska, are ending the $300-a-week American Rescue Plan add-on to unemployment checks early. Some cut them off yesterday; Alaska’s ends June 12.
There are about 32,000 people applying weekly for unemployment benefits in Alaska.
Instead of forking out $10 million to get them back to work, why not spend the money on increasing the number of state troopers in rural Alaska, or improving the 9-1-1 system, or on any number of worthy public programs to benefit the entire state.
Cutting off the $300 federal add-on to the benefits will, in and of itself, get people back to work. Hunger, after all, is a great motivator.