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Arizona judge upholds Ducey’s cut of extra jobless benefits

January 15, 2022 GMT

PHOENIX (AP) — An Arizona judge has upheld Republican Gov. Doug Ducey’s decision last year to cut $300 in supplemental monthly unemployment benefits provided by the federal government.

Rejecting jobless workers’ claims that they were entitled to the extra money, the ruling Thursday by Judge Catherine Cooper of Maricopa County Superior Court said Ducey wasn’t required to spend the federal dollars, the Arizona Republic reported.

Seeking to prod people to return to work, Ducey cut the benefits in July, two months before the funding ended, resulting in over 100,000 jobless people receiving less money for eight weeks of benefits, amounting to about $2,400 per person.

Ducey said at the time that Arizona would set aside $300 million in federal money to offer a one-time bonus of $2,000 to people who get a full-time job and $1,000 to those who return part time.

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Ducey spokesman C.J. Karamargin said Cooper’s ruling. “confirms what Gov. Ducey has been saying all along, which is the best social program is a job.”

Officials wit the Unemployed Workers United, which filed the lawsuit, said they would appeal the decision.

The ruling was upsetting, lawsuit plaintiff Marcela Huerta said in a UWU press release. “Many people, including myself, are suffering right now.”