McCoy: Miss. should take all stimulus money it can

Published 11:32 pm Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Mississippi House Speaker Billy McCoy says the state should take all the money that’s available to it under the federal stimulus package.

Republican Gov. Haley Barbour has said repeatedly over the past two weeks that Mississippi might reject some of the money for unemployment benefits. Barbour says he doesn’t want Mississippi to be forced to offer compensation to people looking for part-time work.

McCoy, a Democrat, said Monday that many Mississippians have lost jobs through no fault of their own, and they deserve unemployment benefits.

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McCoy says these workers have not failed the economic system, but “the system failed them.”

Republican Lt. Gov. Phil Bryant says state lawmakers should not try to circumvent Barbour to make the state take the unemployment money.

Bryant says he hopes the federal stimulus package, signed into law last week by President Barack Obama, “does not turn out to be a Trojan Horse that will unleash burdensome federal mandates.”