WHAT A DIFFERENCE A WEEK MAKES…. Last week, Nevada Gov. Jim Gibbons (R) became the latest Republican governor to resist accepting federal stimulus aid, specifically relating to unemployment funds. Though the move was opposed by lawmakers in both parties and the state’s Chamber of Commerce, Gibbons said the unemployment aid was too generous, would help too many people, and undermine Nevada’s sovereignty.
Gibbons, arguably the nation’s least popular and most scandal-plagued governor, didn’t stick to that position very long.
Mr. Gibbons — who like several of his Republican counterparts in the nation’s governors’ mansions who are considering rejecting or have said no thanks to the unemployment funds — found that the state’s legislature was poised to override him, which they are statutorily permitted to do, to get the expansion of benefits.
After weeks of denouncing the extension, Governor Gibbons officially changed his mind Wednesday afternoon.
In a statement, he said: “As our economic crisis deepens, Nevadans are suffering because of layoffs, business closings and other cutbacks. We have the responsibility to do everything we can to help our unemployed workers get through these difficult times, even if that means passing legislation that we would not necessarily approve during prosperous times.”
Of course, Nevadans were suffering because of layoffs, business closings, and other cutbacks last week, too, when Gibbons opposed the federal assistance.
In any case, it’s good to see Nevada will get the help. The state’s economy has been very hard hit, and rejecting unemployment funds would have made a bad situation considerably worse.
Here’s hoping Bobby Jindal, Rick Perry, and Mark Sanford follow Gibbons’ lead and take the recovery money their constituents need.