ATLANTA (CBS46)—A candidate for the Georgia Labor Commissioner’s office said she disagrees with Governor Brian Kemp’s decision to “prematurely end pandemic unemployment benefits”.

According to Nicole Horn, who is running for labor commissioner, the extra federal dollars will “provide a much-needed stimulus to our local economies.”

Governor Kemp announced Georgia will end accepting the $300 per week in federal jobless payments for unemployed Georgia on Saturday, June 26.

According to a statement from Governor Kemp, “Even in the middle of a global pandemic, job growth and economic development in Georgia remained strong – including an unemployment rate below the national average. To build on our momentum, accelerate a full economic recovery, and get more Georgians back to work in good-paying jobs, our state will end its participation in the federal COVID-19 unemployment programs, effective June 26th. As we emerge from this pandemic, Georgians deserve to get back to normal – and today’s announced economic recovery plan will help more employees and businesses across our state do so.”

Governor Kemps’ decision comes as other Republican governors have also announced their states will also end participation in accepting extended unemployment benefits.

According to a statement from Commissioner Butler, “Right now, the state has a historic number of jobs listed on Employ Georgia. We are seeing some of the highest pay scales with enhanced benefits and signing bonuses.”

Horn, a former small business owner, said she believes the Labor Commissioner Mark Butler should push for higher wages for Georgians. “If the Commissioner were serious about encouraging workers to return to work sooner, he would advocate for higher wages and benefits, respect workers’ rights to organize and form a union, and do everything in his power to encourage Georgians to get their COVID vaccines.”

Horn said there is a dire childcare crisis in the state for working mothers. According to an Economic Policy Institute study, the average cost of infant care in Georgia is $711 per month, and the average childcare cost for a four-year-old is $609 per month.

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