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Idaho jobless workers to exhaust benefits

The House Rules Committee agreed to a closed rule on June 29, meaning there will be limited debate without amendments on the extension, proposal going to vote today.

Idaho Representative Walt Minnick was one of 16 Democrats, members of the fiscally conservative Blue Dog Coalition, to vote against the extension. Republican Rep. Mike Crapo voted against the extension.

Without action, 1.2 million people are expected to lose their extended benefits today. That number will rise to at least 2 million by July 10, some right after finishing up their state-funded 26 weeks, before Congress returns from its weeklong recess, according to Labor Department figures.

Idaho officials are expecting thousands of jobless workers to exhaust their unemployment benefits through the end of August after an extension was defeated in Congress.

A bill that included $35.5 billion to extend benefits for the long-term unemployed and another $16 billion for Medicaid, the public health care program for the poor, died earlier this month.

The Idaho Department of Labor says between 800 and 1,200 people a week, through August, will exhaust their benefits.

State Budget Chief Wayne Hammon says Idaho will also lose $67 million in Medicaid money that was part of the budget lawmakers approved for the next fiscal year, which begins July 1.

Hammon says Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter’s contingency plan calls for tapping the Millennium Fund, which was created with the massive 1998 settlement with tobacco companies, to balance the budget next year.

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  1. The article says Rep. Mike Crappo, not Rep. Mike Simpson. The writer has a point though, because, Crappo is what all of the Representation we have here in Idaho is about!! Maybe if we the electorate got off of our duff, we can get some real representation. So let’s throw out the Crappo!! Then maybe they can be unemployed like some of these other people out there. Of course alot of the unemployed had it happen to them at no fault of their own.