GIANFORTE: We’ve had a terrific response. You know, we were paying people to stay home, which was appropriate during the midst of the pandemic. And as you know, we were the first state to remove these supplemental benefits… I had a hotel owner here in Helena, Montana, who hadn’t been able to find workers for months. In fact, the manager was cleaning rooms and doing laundry himself because he couldn’t get anybody to apply. Within a couple of days of us removing the supplemental benefits, they had 60 applications at that single hotel.
We were paying people $ 42,000 a year to sit at home and unemployment is a safety net and we need it. It should be there for the people when they hit a rough patch. But as I said many times, it should not be a career choice. And we were incenting people to stay home instead of getting back to work and in the process removing the satisfaction that comes from working hard and being self-sufficient. We want to give people the dignity of work. We have plenty of jobs and it’s time for people to get back to work.