During tough times in a slow-growing state like Missouri, people are going to lose their jobs. Finding new ones will take longer than during strong economic times in fast-growing states.
That's why an ideologically-driven filibuster by a few state senators who have risen to prevent a vote on a bill that would accept federal money (about $105 million) for additional jobless benefits for 10,000 Missourians who have been unemployed the longest is so thoughtless. Because of the legislature's inaction, benefits for those who have been unemployed for more than 79 weeks but less than 99 weeks expired over the weekend. Their families will struggle even more.
Lost in the all the non-discussion is the fact that the jobless benefits money would not have come out of the state budget, and studies showing that state economies generally gain up to $2 from every $1 in federal unemployment benefits.
I recently asked my staff to see if St. Louis could go around the state and apply for the funds directly for own residents. The US Department of Labor says not.
So, 10,000 families, including some in St. Louis, will have to wait for a couple of state senators to sit down.