Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards is set to become the first Democrat governor to end additional unemployment benefits offered during the coronavirus pandemic, according to CNN.
On Wednesday, the Governor signed a bill ending the extra $300-per-week benefit. "For a long time now, Louisiana has had the smallest weekly benefit in the country. And we need to do better in that. Everything is a tradeoff," said Edwards at a press conference.
Edwards originally implemented the benefit on the condition that the state increase its maximum unemployment benefit by $28 to $275-per-week in 2022. "The jobs are coming back in Louisiana pretty quickly and at a good pace,” Edwards added.
The move was welcomed by Adam Knapp, CEO of the Baton Rouge Area Chamber. "Enabling businesses to compete with other businesses for talent rather than an enhanced unemployment program will help fill record-breaking openings and get Louisianans back to work."
However, the Louisiana Budget Project opposed the move by the Governor for ending the benefits early as they were set to expire in September.
Jan Moller, executive director of the Louisiana Budget Project said, "What they’re doing is yanking $1,200 away from people at the time where they really need it. The people who are getting these benefits are people who have just not found the kind of suitable job that compares to what they were doing to the pandemic."