Opinion: CARES Act money was supposed to help struggling workers, not pad Arizona’s budget

It would be a grave injustice if emergency funds intended to relieve the suffering of those impacted by the pandemic were used to justify a tax cut

By Rick DeGraw and Lucia Fakonas Howard, opinion contributors/The Arizona Republic

(Editor’s note: Opinion pieces are published for discussion purposes only.)

This holiday season, more than 300,000 Arizonans are facing the uncertainty and desperation of being out of work.

In our state, people who have lost their jobs through no fault of their own have received only $240, or less, per week in assistance since the last federal supplement ended in September. In Colorado, Utah and Texas, unemployed people receive on average about $350 per week, nearly 50% more.

Like all governors, Doug Ducey has been confronted with the challenge of managing dual public health and economic crises. His response shows little attention to Arizonans struggling on the financial edge. 

Arizona’s unemployment assistance is the second-lowest in the nation. Yet, the governor has not directed one dime of state or federal COVID relief funding to address the severe financial hardship resulting from the unemployment crisis.

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