Democrat Governor May Reject Stimulus Funds

Bredesen of Tenn. joins GOP critics
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 25, 2009 5:30 PM CST
In this Jan. 28, 2008 file photo, Gov. Phil Bredesen delivers his annual State of the State address in Nashville, Tenn.   (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey, File)
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(Newser) – A Democrat has joined the ranks of GOP governors who may turn down stimulus funds. Gov. Phil Bredesen of Tennessee says the state may reject $143 million for unemployed workers because it won't be able to afford the long-term budget repercussions, reports the Tennessean. Six other governors, all of them Republican, have voiced similar concerns. So far, Bobby Jindal of Louisiana is the only one to turn down the money definitively. 

"We are evaluating this piece of money, whether it makes sense for us to take it," Bredesen told the Chattanooga Times Free Press. "We're in the position of going back to our legislature this year for changes in our tax structure just to keep our fund whole, and taking it to a new level may be too much of a lift for the legislature this spring." One main objection: States have to expand the pool of available recipients to include part-time workers.