GOP lawmakers quash Dems effort to boost jobless benefits

GOP lawmakers also blocked a vote on a proposal to allow people to get unemployment payments if they leave their jobs due to unsafe working conditions.

By Howard Fischer | Capitol Media Services via Arizona Capitol Times

Arizona’s jobless rate spiked last month to 12.6%, a figure that may be a record.

And it’s certain to go higher as the figures reflect the number of people out looking for work in the second week of April. Since that time, there have been an additional 230,000 first-time claims for unemployment insurance.

The news comes as Republican legislators quashed efforts by Democrats to increase the benefits available to the more than 577,000 people who have applied for unemployment insurance since the COVID-19 pandemic and the orders by Gov. Doug Ducey shutting down many businesses. GOP lawmakers also blocked a vote on a proposal to allow people to get unemployment payments if they leave their jobs due to unsafe working conditions.

Rep. Kelli Butler, D-Paradise Valley, made the proposals as amendments to bills being considered May 21 by the House Committee on Health and Human Services.

The first of those bills, SB1439, would require that women who want to get breast implants to be given more information about the side effects. Robyn Towt, who had implants following a double mastectomy in 2017, told lawmakers about the health problems that developed from her silicone implants, none of which she was told about ahead of time.

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