Posts Tagged ‘Nevada Life’

Jobless Benefits For Thousands Of Unemployed Nevadans Set To Resume With Approval Of Extension

By Nevada News Bureau Staff | 10:39 am July 23rd, 2010

CARSON CITY – Thousands of unemployed Nevadans will soon see their jobless benefits restored with final Congressional approval Thursday of a six-month extension of the Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) program.

There are currently about 93,670 people receiving unemployment benefits in Nevada, according to the Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation (DETR). The number of individuals who are affected by the May expiration of EUC and State Extended Benefits (SEB) programs continue to grow as well. There are nearly 40,000 people who have lost their benefits since the EUC and SEB programs expired.

The EUC extension signed by President Obama on Thursday will last through November. The mid-term general election is Nov. 2.

Nevada’s unemployment rate hit 14.2 percent in June, a new record for the state. About 193,000 Nevadans are looking for work.

Approval means up to 73 weeks of federal jobless benefits for the unemployed who have already exhausted their 26 weeks of state benefits. The measure will cost $34 billion nationwide.

“The department continues proactive work and planning in order to restart benefits as soon as possible after the EUC programs are reinstated,” said DETR Deputy Director Cynthia Jones. “We have carefully staged our systems to ensure their ability to handle the accurate processing of claims; and with the help of our claimants in following the plan, benefits will be paid in an efficient and expedient manner.”

The department has continued accepting EUC applications to help the process move more quickly in anticipation of the bill passing, said Jones, who also serves as administrator of the Employment Security Division.

“There are some things in this legislation that require interpretation and instructions for program implementation as the bill contains other provisions that impact unemployment programs, on top of reinstating the Emergency Unemployment Compensation programs,” she said.

Within seven to ten days of the bill passage, claimants will start receiving letters stating they are on the list of individuals potentially eligible to receive extended benefits, Jones said. The letters will have specific instructions to prevent claimants from waiting unnecessarily on the phone lines. Claimants are asked to refrain from calling telephone claim centers until they receive this notification in the mail, signaling that their claim has been automatically reopened; the new funds have been added and that the agency is now ready for their weekly claims to be filed.

“We are asking for the public’s cooperation so that these much needed benefits can be paid out as soon as possible,” she said.

Rep. Dean Heller, R-Nev., was one of 31 Republicans in the House who supported the program’s restoration.

Heller said he voted for the bill despite failing to get the Democratic majority to support an amendment to use unobligated stimulus funds to pay for the benefits.

“Nevadans across the state are struggling to get by,” he said. “While I believe that this legislation should have been paid for, I do not believe the unemployed should be held accountable for the failed economic policies of the Administration and this Congress.

“There are ways to pay for this extension, and help the unemployed, without contributing to the deficit,” Heller said.

Opposition to Personhood Amendment Puts Nevada Anti-Abortion Groups in Unusual Company

By Sean Whaley | 5:28 pm November 18th, 2009
CARSON CITY – It isn’t every day that Nevada anti-abortion groups find themselves on the same side as Planned Parenthood and the ACLU in a political dispute, but that is what happened this week in regard to the proposed “Personhood Nevada” ballot initiative.

If approved by voters, the state constitutional amendment being pushed by a conservative Nevada group would define “a person” as anyone having a human genome. The goal is to protect all human life, from conception to death, by prohibiting abortion and assisted suicide.

The wording of the measure has been challenged in Carson City District Court by the ACLU of Nevada and Planned Parenthood for being too vague.

On Tuesday, two anti-abortion groups, Nevada Life and Nevada Eagle Forum, announced their opposition to the measure, which was filed in October by Richard Ziser, chairman of a group called Nevada Concerned Citizens. The measure, which would require nearly 100,000 signatures to get on the ballot, is modeled after similar proposals pushed by anti-abortion advocates in other states.

Don Nelson, president of Sparks based Nevada Life, said being on the same side of the abortion debate as Planned Parenthood is just an unfortunate circumstance.

“They are against the petition because they want to destroy the pro-life movement,” he said of Planned Parenthood. “We are against it because we want to save the pro-life movement.”

Nevada Life embraces the concept of the personhood movement, but not the strategy of putting a measure on the ballot, Nelson said.

The Personhood Nevada initiative is misguided because it runs contrary to current U.S. law as embodied in Roe v. Wade, the U.S. Supreme Court decision legalizing abortion. As a result, it will be struck down in an inevitable legal challenge and so not stop even a single abortion, he said.

It could also give activist judges in states where it may be approved by voters the chance to make rulings that could weaken existing protections designed to limit abortions, Nelson said.

The number of abortions has come down in the U.S. in the past two decades despite a huge population increase, the result of successful efforts by Nevada Life and Nevada Eagle Forum and similar groups in changing public opinion, he said.

Rather than spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on an imitative fraught with legal problems, the money could be better spent electing anti-abortion candidates to elective office, Nelson said.

The opposition of the two groups should make it more difficult for Ziser to qualify the Personhood measure for the ballot, he said.

Lee Rowland, northern coordinator for the ACLU of Nevada, said the opposition of the two groups did come as a surprise. But the concerns are similar, she said. The ACLU legal challenge is based on the belief that the initiative is so vague and open to interpretation as to make it impossible for voters to know what they are actually voting on.

“It is certainly heartening that even groups who are firmly pro-life believe that this particular initiative is vague and misleading and could lead to a poor interpretation that the voters could never expect,” Rowland said.

Elisa Maser, president & CEO of Nevada Advocates for Planned Parenthood Affiliates, said voters have the right to know exactly what they are voting on and the proposed initiative does not make it clear what the full impact would be.

Ziser could not be reached for comment on the announcement by the two groups.

The group has until May to qualify the measure for the ballot. Voters would have to approve it twice, in 2010 and 2012, before it could take effect.