There’s been a lot coming out of the Tom Shields campaign of late. Shields is challenging incumbent Republican John O’Bannon in the 73rd House district.
Recently, Governor Tim Kaine has asked the federal government for a $252 million loan to cover unemployment costs. Recall, if you will, that as part of the stimulus package, Virginia was eligible to receive an additional $125 million in funds. That money would have been used to expand unemployment coverage, but the House, under Republican control, voted against it, despite the fact that it was clear that the coverage could be repealed when the money ran out.
Now we (as a small business owner who pays unemployment taxes on behalf of my employees, I’m in that bunch) are looking at higher unemployment rates to cover this loan. The governor, in announcing the loan package said:
If Virginia maintains an outstanding federal loan on the first day of two consecutive calendar years, as is expected in 2010 and 2011, Virginia employers will be assessed an additional federal tax of $21 per employee beginning in 2011. If Virginia had been eligible for the second tranche of assistance from the ARRA, approximately $125 million, the state’s compensation fund might have been able to delay requesting loans until after January 1, 2010, which would have delayed the additional federal tax until 2012.
O’Bannon voted against taking the money and Shields properly called him out on it in this NPR interview.
The party of NO ends up costing Virginia employers money. We’ve got to get some of those folks out of there. Electing Tom Shields would be a great step.