GOP Montana Governor Offers Get Back to Work Bonuses, Cancels Federal Jobless Programs

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The Republican governor in Montana is tackling the labor shortage because people are collecting unemployment checks that pay more than their jobs by offering $1,200 “return to work” bonuses.

Gov. Greg Gianforte announced Tuesday that the state would be the first in the country to opt out of federal unemployment benefit programs and put in place a plan to get Montanans back to work.

An NBC affiliate in Montana reported on the governor’s plan:

The state will no longer participate in the federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program or the Mixed Earner Unemployment Compensation program. The first gives benefits to self-employed, underemployed people, independent contractors and people who have unable to work because of COVID-19 health reasons. The MEUC offers payments to people who had both traditional W-2 income and self-employment income.

Also changing, the state is reinstating requirements that claimants be able to work, available for work and actively seeking work in order to be eligible for benefits. They were previously put on hold in March of 2020.

“Montana is open for business again, but I hear from too many employers throughout our state who can’t find workers. Nearly every sector in our economy faces a labor shortage,” Gianforte said in a press release.

“Incentives matter and the vast expansion of federal unemployment benefits is now doing more harm than good,” Gianforte said. “We need to incentivize Montanans to reenter the workforce. Our return-to-work bonus and the return to pre-pandemic unemployment programs will help get more Montanans back to work.”

The NBC report continued:

The governor’s office says the bonus payments will be funded by the American Rescue Plan Act and will be paid to unemployed people who rejoin the labor force and “accept and maintain steady employment for at least one month.”

As Breitbart News reported, John Motta, chairman of the Coalition of Franchisee Associations and owner of Dunkin Donuts stores in New Hampshire and Virginia, told reporters on a recent conference call that Biden’s relief laws are hurting small businesses across the country:

Moore said on the call that one of the greatest struggles for small business is a shortage of workers as the country starts to open up because Biden’s policies of increased unemployment and coronavirus relief checks to Americans are resulting in worker shortages.

“Over the next three to four or five months, and this is a phenomenon that we’re already seeing that is reducing the ability of small businesses to reopen their doors after this terrible year of pandemic,” Moore said. “The massive increase in unemployment benefits and other government benefits, which are paying people substantially more money for not working.”

“This is welfare reform in reverse,” Moore said. “This is a huge problem right now for businesses. We estimate that there will be about 5 million fewer working Americans through October because of the disastrous $1.9 trillion spending bill.”

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