Rodger McDaniel, who last month retired as head of Wyoming’s Mental Health and Substance Abuse Division, takes a look at the Legislature’s decision to turn down $38 million in federal unemployment benefits for Wyoming residents. McDaniel, also an ordained minister, notes that “when Jesus said, ‘The poor will always be with you,’ it was not an invitation to exploit them, but a judgment against those who do.”
This week the House rejected a bill to provide meager unemployment benefits. The reality of seven straight quarters of decline in new business formation and the loss of 15,200 Wyoming jobs wasn’t persuasive. Somebody’s elected representatives still turned down 38 million dollars in federal unemployment funds in favor of stereotyping those who are without work. That is 38 million dollars that will remain in Washington for who knows what instead of circulating in Wyoming through the wallets of landlords, grocers, clothiers, service providers and others who could have used those dollars to create jobs here.