(PatriotWise.com) — Last Saturday, California Governor Gavin Newsom vetoed legislation that would have allowed striking workers to receive unemployment benefits, the Associated Press reported.
The Democrat governor said while he supports workers and receives campaign donations from labor unions, since the state’s unemployment fund will already be nearly $20 billion in the red by the end of the year, now isn’t the time to increase the costs of unemployment benefits.
The state fund that pays unemployment benefits is already over $18 billion in debt as it ran out of money during the pandemic and was forced to borrow from the federal government after Newsom ordered most California businesses to close, causing a massive surge in unemployment.
Additionally, the fund costs the state billions due to massive fraud.
Democrat lawmakers in the state pushed through the legislation both to support the actors’ and writers’ strikes in Hollywood as well as the striking Southern California hotel workers.
The bill would have allowed striking workers to receive at least two weeks of unemployment benefits from the state, which is up to $450 a week.
Ordinarily, only workers who lose jobs through no fault of their own can apply for and receive unemployment benefits.
Labor unions argued that the number of workers striking for more than two weeks is so small that granting unemployment benefits would not have a significant impact on the unemployment fund.
Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher from the California Labor Federation blasted the governor’s veto, saying it further “tips the scales” to favor CEOs and corporations while punishing workers exercising their “fundamental right to strike.”
The Newsom administration has said that the unemployment fund has not been collecting enough money to pay its current benefits. The fund’s money comes from a tax employers must pay on each worker. However, the tax only applies to the first $7,000 of a worker’s wages, a figure that has remained unchanged since 1984.
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