Many Iowans have experienced filing for unemployment for the first time this year. As a result, many Iowans now realize just how important this lifeline can be for working people and their families. Right now, the current Republican legislature is moving a bill forward that would cut back on unemployment benefits, during a global pandemic.
This proposal would institute a one-week waiting period – for no good reason – for anyone who applies for unemployment. No one I know who has ever been laid off through no fault of their own, especially now, wants to lose their job, let alone go on unemployment, which does not cover all of their lost wages. Making that family wait a week for no good reason, just means that the rich are going to continue to stuff their pockets during this pandemic while that family suffers.
In addition, this legislation would disproportionately hurt rural Iowa. It cuts the number of weeks available in the case of a business closing by 13 weeks. I grew up in rural Iowa, and I understand what it means when an industry or plant that sustains that town goes under. People receiving those benefits are not getting rich – they are using those dollars to keep main street alive until the town can get back on its feet. Opposing these cuts is the right thing to do for workers in this state, for rural Iowa, and this legislature and Governor need to stop these plans from moving forward and get back to the work that Iowans sent them there to do.
- Charlie Wishman
Des Moines, IA