GA labor official defies unemployment policy - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

GA labor official defies unemployment policy

ATLANTA (AP) - A state labor official is refusing to restart jobless benefits to seasonally unemployed teachers and bus drivers, setting up a showdown between state and federal officials.

Georgia Labor Commissioner Mark Butler tells the Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Thursday that the administration in Washington is "over-stepping their bounds" in regards to unemployment.

A spokesman says the U.S. Department of Labor is reviewing Georgia's "new legal position." Washington threatened to cut millions of dollars sent annually to Georgia to administer the unemployment program, unless the state relented and resumed the payments.

The commissioner estimates 3,500 to 4,000 bus drivers, pre-k teachers, landscapers, janitors, crossing guards and other contractually employed Georgians have filed or will file claims.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics labeled 64,702 Georgians as private "educational service" workers last September,

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