President Obama just sent his new jobs bill to Congress, and it’s asking lawmakers to adopt the Georgia Works unemployment benefits model.
Under Georgia Works, jobless individuals collect unemployment benefits in exchange for participating in a job training program.
Basically, instead of handing the unemployed a check, the money goes to a company that’s looking for new hires. The company then uses that money to take on an unemployed individual and pay that person while they receive on-the-job training. The company can then choose to hire the trainee. If it does, it has just avoided the cost of training the person.
It allows unemployed workers to earn a paycheck, learn new skills and showcase themselves at an employer on a tryout basis.
Georgia residents who register for unemployment benefits can volunteer to receive 24 hours per week of on-the-job training for up to eight weeks. They can also receive a stipend to help cover childcare and transportation expenses while they train.
New Hampshire has adopted the Georgia Works template.
The program’s also received support from both Democrats and Republicans, so it’s likely some version of it will eventually make it out of Congress.
Jobs bill faces political battle
Obama’s jobs bill as a whole is a different story.
The $447 billion jobs bill is made up of some tax cuts and new spending — such as a reduction in the Social Security payroll tax for employers/workers, and more money for teachers, school renovations and unemployment benefits.
To help pay for the bill, it would create new restrictions on the deductions that can be claimed by wealthy taxpayers — a proposal Republicans and some Democrats have shot down in the past.
The GOP’s also indicated it’d support a payroll tax cut and finding a way to extend unemployment benefits, but it’s opposed to many of the new spending elements of the bill.
We’ll keep you posted as the bill moves through Congress.
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