Gooch asks Kemp to end federal unemployment relief

News, State & National
federal unemployment relief

ATLANTA – Majority Whip and State Senator Steve Gooch (R-51) has asked Governor Brian Kemp (R) to halt the federal unemployment relief in Georgia.

In a letter sent to Kemp’s desk today, Gooch details how many small businesses are struggling to find people to work. Many restaurants can’t fully open because they don’t have the staff.

“While we are still recovering from the economic impact of the pandemic, local business owners are desperate for employees – not customers. Every job creator agrees that this workforce shortage is a direct result of the federal expanded unemployment benefits, where employees are incentivized to stay home and collect government checks that often exceed what they would earn at the job site. This labor shortage has caused many restaurants to alter their hours of operation and is having an oversized impact on the supply chain of every sector of the economy. In fact, manufacturers, distributors, and retailers cannot deliver their goods and services to their customers. Costs are skyrocketing due to limited inventories and Georgia businesses – and consumers – are struggling to foot the bill.” – Senator Steve Gooch

Gooch touches on teacher’s unions preventing parents from returning to work because some schools haven’t returned to in-person learning.

The Senator cites that a COVID-19 vaccine is widely available and free to whoever wishes to take it.

He urges Kemp to take executive action and stop the unemployment benefits or include the issue in a Special Session late this summer.

The American Rescue Plan signed by President Joe Biden (D) on March 11, 2021, extended Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC), Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA), and Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) programs through September 6, 2021.

FPUC sends out a $300 weekly supplement until September 6, 2021 “as appropriate” and is subject to deductions, child support, and overpayment recoveries.

Last week, Florida’s Governor Ron DeSantis (R) moved to reinstate the weekly “work search” updates required to receive unemployment benefits. Florida suspended the measure when the pandemic began.

Georgia Department of Labor Commissioner Mark Butler (R) released an earlier statement that the Georgia requirements for unemployment are likely to return within the next few months.

“We are hearing from employers that are struggling to meet demand right now due to the lack of applicants for open positions,” said Georgia Labor Commissioner Mark Butler. “Our mission is to not only bridge the pay gap for those who are temporarily unemployed, but to also provide reemployment support for those who are looking to reenter the workforce filling the critical vacancies we are seeing in almost every industry right now.”

Sen. Steve Gooch Assumes Additional Duties in State Senate

News, Press Release

ATLANTA (January 25, 2021) | Recently, Sen. Steve Gooch (R – Dahlonega) received his committee assignments for the 2021 legislative session.

Sen. Gooch will serve as the Vice Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Vice Chairman of the Senate Transportation Committee, and as a member of the Ethics, Finance, Reapportionment and Redistricting, and Regulated Industries and Utilities Committee. Additionally, Sen. Gooch will serve as an Ex- Officio member of the Rules and Natural Resources and the Environment Committees.  Sen. Gooch will also continue to serve as the Senate Majority Whip.

“I am grateful for the Lt. Governor’s office and the Senate Committee on Assignments for allowing me to serve our community, as well as our state, through these committee appointments,” said Sen. Gooch. “This session will be unlike any other that we have experienced and will require careful, responsible leadership, particularly when it comes to our state budget. I am honored to have an opportunity to lend my experience to the service of our state through these committees, as well as through my role as the Senate Majority Whip.”

“Sen. Gooch, as well as all members receiving committee assignments, have proven their ability to provide meaningful solutions to issues citizens face across the state,” said Lt. Governor Geoff Duncan. “Sen. Gooch brings a host of experience and knowledge to each committee he serves on and I look forward to continuing to work alongside him as he works tirelessly to advance policies in the best interest of all Georgians.”

The first session of the 156th Georgia General Assembly convened on January 11, 2021, at the Georgia State Capitol.

Gov. Kemp visits UNG Friday for signing ceremony

News

DAHLONEGA, Ga. — Gov. Brian Kemp received a warm welcome in Lumpkin County Friday when he arrived for a bill signing ceremony in the Library Technology Center on the campus of the University of North Georgia.

State Sen. Steve Gooch (R-Dahlonega), who sponsored four of the five bills the governor signed, welcomed the governor to his hometown and introduced him to those in attendance.

“Today is a big day for us,” he said. “We’ve been working a lot on some issues dealing with broadband and internet services.”

With a large number of state legislators who helped usher the bills through to passage on hand, along with many county and municipal elected officials, Kemp signed Senate Bills 2, 17, 66, 79 and 454.

Senate Bills 2,17,66 and 79 deal with the expansion of access to broadband internet service and were sponsored by Gooch. SB 454 was carried to the senate by Gooch and deals with electronic assisted bicycles.

Senate Bill 2 allows Georgia’s 41 EMCs which represent about 4.5 million rural customers to get into the broadband business and sell internet services.

An important question that has yet to be answered is how many EMCs will participate.

“I’ll stand here today and be the first one to confess, I don’t know that all 41 will ever get into internet services,” Gooch said, “But I believe this will allow them the opportunity to do so.”

Wednesday, April 24 marked the governor’s 100th day in office and he reflected of some of his administration’s early accomplishments.

“Over and over again, I promised to keep families safe, to put hard working Georgians first and I think that is exactly what we have done with these pieces of legislation today and with these great legislators’ help who are here today.”

Kemp said the 2019 and 2020 budgets are “reflection of the values of our state and our priorities for the future. We have fully funded public 0education for the second year in a row. We have given teachers, counselors and others a historic pay raise this year. We’ve invested $70 million in school security grants, $30,000 for every public school in the K through 12 system. We also doubled funding for mental health services in our high schools.”

The governor also pointed to state investments in public safety. “We created a task force within the GBI to undermine drug cartels, gangs and human and sex trafficking.”

Kemp thanked legislators for “stepping up to the plate” and adding $20 million to the budget for hurricane relief for farmers in south and southwest Georgia “while we wait on those in Washington D.C. to do their part to put people ahead of politics and pass the daggum disaster relief bill.”

 

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