The state defies the state

When in doubt, ignore the legislature?

For now, the state pays the first 26 weeks of benefits, then the federal government pays an extra 37 weeks. But that money comes with strings attached. Namely, states can't cut benefits.

"To find out, first of all, that the Republican Party was OK taking money away from children when their parents are unemployed was unbelievable and heartless," said State Rep. Sherry Jones, D-Nashville.

People on unemployment who have children get an extra $15 a week per child, but state lawmakers passed a bill to eliminate that extra money.

The new law had been primed to go into effect Monday, but the Tennessee Department of Labor decided to hold off.