This may be an unpopular opinion, but the latest plan in the Missouri legislature introduced by Maysville Representative J. Eggleston to reduce the weeks someone unemployed can stay on unemployment is just evil.

Currently, the minimum number of weeks someone in Missouri can receive unemployment benefits is 13 weeks, but the Missouri House approved Eggleston's plan to reduce that to eight weeks. And how much does someone on unemployment get? $320 dollars a week maximum, with most folks receiving $273 a week. This is according to the Four States Home Page website. (How many weeks a person can receive benefits is tied to Missouri's unemployment rate, I'm looking at the minimum benefit available with the unemployment rate being 3%-4%.)

Eggleston said he introduced it to help Missouri businesses because there are tons of job openings but not enough people to fill them. He told the Four States Home Page website, "I think there are jobs available now with the low unemployment rate really in every sector. I haven’t seen this be unique to particular sectors of the job market. It’s pretty ubiquitous.”

Under the new restrictions, most people on unemployment would get just over $2,000 in benefits, and those getting the most from unemployment $2,500. That's it. Thank you very much.

I get it, unemployment isn't supposed to cover everything. Nor should it last forever. But I don't think 13 weeks or a little over three months to get your bearings after losing a job, and having a little bit of a safety net is too much to ask. Especially for folks who work low-paying jobs, and might not have their own financial safety net.

Nor do I really think Eggleston's desire to help Missouri businesses staff up will be impacted positively by reducing the number of weeks someone receives an unemployment benefit.

No, I think it has everything to do with the mindset some people possess that if you accept government help or avail yourself of a government benefit you're lazy, don't want to work, and don't deserve a dime. Which at best is cynical, and at worst at odds with what spirituality or religion teaches you. Ya know, help a guy out. Help your neighbor.

I've actually had loudmouth friends spout off about this, until, I've spoken up and said I've accepted unemployment. I've accepted aid. Of course, then it's a whole bunch of back peddling, and my loudmouth friend goes, "yeah, but it's different. I know you're trying to find a job. You're not stealing MY tax dollars."

No, it's really no different. I was trying to take care of my family while trying to find another job. Just like everyone else out there. To make an already difficult situation harder on the people you're elected to serve is just evil.

According to the Four States Home Page website the bill now has to be taken up by the Missouri Senate and then signed by the Governor. If it becomes law the bill would be effective on January 1, 2023. 

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