Riley may reject some stimulus money

Published 7:15 am Monday, February 23, 2009

MONTGOMERY — Republican Gov. Bob Riley says he will reject a part of the federal stimulus package that would provide more than $66 million in unemployment benefits over four years.

He says that’s because the new federal package would require Alabama to make a permanent expansion in its jobless benefits law. And when the federal money runs out after four years, that would require Alabama to come up with about $17 million a year to continue the benefits.

He says that could lead to tax increases on businesses and possibly workers.

The changes proposed by the package include providing unemployment benefits to people who leave their jobs for compelling family reasons and for the unemployed who are seeking part-time jobs rather than full-time jobs.