Sunday, March 15, 2009

What's wrong with Nevada's Governor?

Zion Raven painting by Jeff Ham.

You might think that the Governor of a state that is as far down on its luck as Nevada would be eager to take advantage of Stim funds, but you'd be wrong. Governor Jim Gibbons is seriously considering taking a pass.

As my neighboring state, the place I grew up and the state where most of my family still resides, I am very worried about Nevada.

Nevada’s economy has been more than just rocked by the current recession. It leads the nation in many areas of economic depression. Home foreclosures have never been higher, home sales have never been lower, the budget for the state is indicating a shortfall of more than $1 billion, job losses continue to pile up, hunger and homelessness rates are surging, crime is skyrocketing, while sales and gaming tax receipts have collapsed.

Nevada could expect to receive about $1.5 billion from The Stim if Governor Gibbons agrees to accept it. While $1.5 Billion amounts to less Stim spending per person in Nevada than any other state except Utah, it will be very welcome to the hard-hit Nevada residents. The money would be distributed to Medicaid and transportation, education and unemployment, and various energy projects.

Similar to Governor Jindal of LA, Gibbons' big problem with accepting Stim money comes down to unemployment (not his own, but the unemployment benefits afforded to the 9.1% of Nevada's workers who are currently unemployed). The Stim increases the scope of benefits for the unemployed through 2011. Once the federal money stops, the state would either have to provide benefits itself at the higher level OR cut benefits back to their pre-stimulus level. Both Jindal and Gibbons say accepting Stim money for unemployment benefits will jeopardize their state's sovereignty ... but The Stim doesn't require the states to spend any money in the current budget or to commit to spend money after 2011 ... so I think they are full of BS.

If Gibbons makes good on his threat to refuse The Stim, he may become the man formerly known as governor. (note: while that is a link to a short fun article in The Las Vegas Sun, if you care to know more details about why Jim Gibbons may just be America's Worst Governor, here is a link to a witty blog full of insider info on The Gub ... though you really need to view that Las Vegas Sun article to understand why Gibbon's nickname is Dr. Null.)

Perhaps the Governors who are threatening to refuse The Stim might consider that people who are suffering do not easily suffer fools. Maybe if those Governors were facing unemployment themselves, they might not be so quick to refuse federal aid.

If you're interested in seeing how your state is planning to spend Stim money, click here for the site.


Annette said...

Sounds like he is in deep doo My governor is at least wise enough to plan on taking the funds..but we have the opposite problem here.. a republican legislature who wanted him to refuse it.. they actually tried to put through a bill saying he should or at least a few of them did and it got voted down.

Then a group of them wanted to pass a voters bill to force you to show your birth certificate.. that went nowhere Yeah we have some good ones in the GOPer party anymore... they used to be fringe but they are getting more main stream as the party gets smaller and smaller.. because people are leaving them.

Sounds like if he keeps on he may be kicked out soon.

Fran said...

Oregon State is $850 million in the hole, and the State is proposing to take the Stim $ to bail itself out & put itself back in the black ink.
There will be additional money leftover for all those "shovel ready" projects that are in arrears.
Also I just heard we are down 18 inches in average rainfall this year, so that could indicate a heavy fire year?? Forest fires here tend to be a very big ticket item.

I had read somewhere that they threw in a clause in the STIM package (fine print) if the governor's refuse or reject it, the legislature still has the option to vote on it.

As a family with our main breadwinner newly unemployed (company went bankrupt), I can personally say the STIM package $ is a lifesaver.
Already we have received an additional $25 a week raise (well, $20 because we have taxes taken out up front), and here is a HUGE benefit-- the STIM package pays 65% of COBRA extended health insurance costs, for up to 9 months, or 18 months if disabled or other special circumstances).

That is a real (literal?) lifesaver- as the cost of COBRA coverage is 102% of the cost- what you & your employer combined, paid for insurance, + 2 % more.

For most people that puts them out of being able to afford health insurance & the double whammy of having the dreaded "lapse of coverage", where waiting periods, & pre existing conditions deny or delay access to health care.

Viva la STIM!!!!!!!

enigma4ever said...

every state is hurting..some more than others...and that ANY of them would pass is beyond fucking nuts..that is all I can say...

enigma4ever said...

okay so I went to the map- and Certain Key Repuke States- the Stim site is NOT available yet- or at all? so we can not see what would be given to those states ?wow....I guess Perry and others are serious about not taking the aid...really ?

D.K. Raed said...

Hey, all, thanks for commenting! It's usually a hard sell to get anyone interested in Nevada.

Looks like the state legislature will force Gibbons to accept The Stim (as Annette hinted). Other aspects of The Stim that Fran noted for OR also affect NV, both the wildfire potential AND extended unemployment benefits.

And Enigma, originally there were more blank states at, but now I see a few more of them have filled in. The current blank states are the active holdouts (like TX, SC, LA, KY) as well as states that just haven't posted how The Stim affects them. Maybe they are afraid to go on record?