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Louisiana State

Lawsuit challenges Louisiana’s end to federal jobless aid

The Associated Press
The Associated Press
 2021-08-01
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Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards speaks about the state's latest surge in coronavirus cases, on Friday, July 23, 2021, in Baton Rouge, La. Edwards recommends that his state's residents return to wearing masks indoors, whether they are vaccinated against COVID-19 or not, if they are unable to distance from people. (AP Photo/Melinda Deslatte)

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — A group of unemployed Louisiana residents filed a lawsuit challenging Gov. John Bel Edwards’ decision to stop accepting the federal pandemic benefits that gave jobless workers an extra $300-a-week boost and made some self-employed and gig workers eligible for the unemployment assistance.

The Democratic governor ended the federal pandemic jobless aid Saturday, five weeks earlier than the expiration date. The move stripped benefits from more than 150,000 people and cut by more than half the unemployment benefits available to tens of thousands more.

The Advocate reports the lawsuit — filed late Friday in Baton Rouge state district court — argues the move violates federal constitutional protections and state unemployment law that compels state officials to secure available federal unemployment compensation for their jobless citizens. It asks the court to reinstate the payments immediately.

The lawsuit names as defendants the governor, the Louisiana Workforce Commission and Workforce Commission Secretary Ava Cates, an Edwards appointee.

Edwards agreed to shut off the federal unemployment benefits early in a deal with Republican lawmakers that will permanently raise state unemployment benefits by $28 a week, starting in January. That will increase Louisiana’s maximum unemployment benefit to $275 a week.

The lawsuit was filed on behalf of six women who faced hardships from the pandemic and were relying on the next five weeks of federal payments to keep them and their children from experiencing poverty, homelessness and hunger, according to affidavits submitted to the court. Among the attorneys filing the litigation was Democratic state Rep. Mandie Landry, of New Orleans.

Business organizations and Republican lawmakers argued the enhanced unemployment benefits were making it harder for companies to find workers.

Similar lawsuits have been filed in several other states where the jobless benefits were cut off early, including Arkansas, Ohio, Texas, Florida and Oklahoma, according to the newspaper.

Comments / 57

Allbussiness
08-02

Truth be told, Some people who are lucky enough to have jobs are thinking inside the same box as the government. That said people, let's not forget, Louisiana don't have a lot of jobs for educated and skilled workers, 9 out of every job available is in the fast food industry and supermarkets and general dollar stores, etc., jobs that people can work a whole month and still can't make enough to pay rent, and I'm guessing that ya'll do know that rent is not the only bills that have to be paid, Stop being optimistic and start being realistic, And don't forget that covid19 has kicked into 5th gear, and roaring through Louisiana like hurricane Katrina. Everyone is not a criminal, meaning that millions of people honestly worked for years faithfully until the virus hit, and these people have had thousands of dollars taken away for state taxes, Medicaid taxes, and shouldn't be disallowed funding that was their money to begin with. So don't criticize people you know nothing about.

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One Mad American
08-01

Can’t get unemployment no more so settle for the next best thing lawsuit! Anything to get out work what a shame ! Have a little self respect and dignity!

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meandtou
08-02

enough give away go get a job you will be happier providing for your family give away money just keeps you in poverty that's what democrats want to do their harming more than it helps they keep you in control

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