Wednesday, August 5, 2015

'Dollar store Lex Luther,' NE Gov. Ricketts, puts the screws to jobless

Neb. Gov. Pete Ricketts
Nebraska's GOP Governor, Pete Ricketts, who John Oliver called a 'dollar store Lex Luther,' has engineered draconian new unemployment requirements that would cut off benefits to those jobless who don't make five employment contacts a week — the strictest requirements in the nation, despite the fact that Nebraska has the country's lowest unemployment rate, about 2.7%.
     Under the proposed rules, unemployment recipients would have to verify their job search on a state website — even, apparently, if they're among the rural poor without Internet access or transportation to whatever facilities might offer free Internet access.
     James Goddard of Nebraska Appleseed, the only person to testify at Monday's public hearing besides Ricketts administration employees, noted the following, according to Paul Hammel's excellent coverage in the Omaha World-Herald:
     Goddard, in his testimony, called the requirements “out of touch” with current Internet- based job searches. Under the proposed rule, someone who packed 10 job contacts into only one day would lose jobless benefits, while someone who made five contacts over three or four days would not, he said.
     ...Goddard said the online reporting requirements are also problematic. He cited a report by the National Employment Law Project about a similar reporting requirement in Florida that quadrupled the number of denials based on procedural problems.

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