Tuesday, December 30, 2008

South Carolina's unemployment is running out of money

This article from the Greenville News highlights the troubles that the state of South Carolina is facing with their unemployment insurance fund.

About 77,000 unemployed South Carolinians would be without jobless benefits at the end of the day if the governor and state employment officials don't resolve their standoff about a federal loan.

The unemployment trust fund runs dry Wednesday unless Gov. Mark Sanford requests a $146 million federal loan, but the governor is withholding his approval until the Employment Security Commission agrees to his demands, including an audit by a state agency.

House Speaker Bobby Harrell said the ESC should comply with Sanford's demands including the audit.

Roosevelt T. Halley, executive director of the ESC, said he is willing to be audited by the U.S. Department of Labor because the program uses federal funds and operates under federal guidelines.

He also said he would be willing to have an audit by the Legislative Audit Council if the state Legislature requests it. Although the request must originate in the Legislature, a spokesman for Sanford, Joel Sawyer, said it would send a stronger signal if the governor and the head of the commission signed off on the need.

Last month, South Carolina reported the nation's third-worst unemployment rate at 8.4 percent, and Halley said he could run out of money today to issue unemployment checks. The agency normally writes checks Sunday through Thursday.

Read the rest of the story here

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