Democrats in the Idaho Legislature say recent unemployment news means that lawmakers should take another look at the Idaho Jobs and Opportunity Blueprint (IJOBs) Democrats proposed earlier this session. None of the six proposals have been approved by both chambers of the Legislature so far.
"All legislators should be reaching across the aisle and working hard to reduce Idaho’s out of control jobless numbers," Senate Minority Leader Kate Kelly, D-Boise, said in a news release. "Without the support of the Majority party, these ideas will never become the real helping hand Idaho’s unemployed workforce expects from lawmakers.”
Read the Democrats' news release below.
BOISE – In response to the Idaho Department of Labor’s new report showing Idaho’s joblessness hitting a record high, Democrats are calling on the Majority party to re-evaluate the Idaho Jobs and Opportunity Blueprint (IJOBs) legislation introduced in the first weeks of the session.
“Democratic legislators understand that the number one issue for Idaho’s citizens is jobs,” said Senate Assistant Minority Leader Elliot Werk. “While the Majority has focused on playing politics with a series of memorials and bills that will do little more than force the state to defend costly lawsuits, there has been precious little discourse about how we can help the private sector create jobs for Idahoans.”
As national unemployment has stabilized, Idaho’s jobless numbers increased in both January and February. Idaho lost over 44,000 jobs in the past two years and the current unemployment rate of 9.5% is just short of the state record set in 1982-83.
In the current legislative session, Democrats have introduced at least ten bills filled with innovations for enhancing economic development. Most of these bills were held in committee without a hearing. “All legislators should be reaching across the aisle and working hard to reduce Idaho’s out of control jobless numbers. Without the support of the Majority party, these ideas will never become the real helping hand Idaho’s unemployed workforce expects from lawmakers,” said Senate Minority Leader Kate Kelly.
“We listened to what our constituents were telling us back in our districts and decided that the Idaho Legislature needed to focus on jobs during the 2010 legislative session,” said House Minority Leader John Rusche. “That is why we brought our IJOBs proposal to the legislature – to focus on job opportunities for Idahoans and help ensure that Idaho becomes an economic leader in the 21st Century.”
Democrat’s are renewing their call for their legislative colleagues to work with them to preserve opportunities for families and to help small businesses create the jobs and prosperity that Idahoans deserve.
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