Last week we told you that Job Service North Dakota was requesting $240,000 from the state to help fund itself through January, and today it made its initial request to the state Emergency Commission.
Job Service says this money is vital to help it stay a float as it goes through a $4.1 million shortfall. The shortfall is mainly due to a continuous decline of federal funding and increase in operation costs.
North Dakota Job Service requested the $240,000 from the Emergency Commission. The commission is compromised of six officials, including Gov. Jack Dalrymple, Secretary of State Al Jaeger, Sen. Rich Wardner, Rep. Al Carlson, Sen. Ray Holmberg and Rep. Jeff Delzer.
Carlson was not able to attend the meeting. The commission voted 3-to-2 to approve Job Service's request. Job Service was pleased that its request was met with approval.
"I understand that this is an Emergency Commission and they have priorities and they have difficult decisions to make, so I am grateful to them to being able to approve this request," said Cheri Giesen, North Dakota Job Service.
Wardner voted for the approval to help keep the residents of North Dakota happy.
"I just realize that there is going to be a lot of people that are going to be very upset this time of year when it's the holidays and they're not getting their unemployment money," said Wardner, R-Dickinson.
Holmberg and Delzer voted against the request, and Wardner says he can understand the reason behind the way they voted.
"Well, they made some good points; the fact that we're using almost a third of our Emergency Commission contingency money for this particular one project," Wardner said.
Gieson also said that it is important that Job Service keeps going through January, as it is its busiest time, because unemployment insurance claims jump from 700 to 2,500 in January.
Approval by the Emergency Commission now means that Job Service's request will go to the legislative Budget Section Committee, and that is where the request will get it's final approval or denial. The Budget Section Committee meeting takes place on Monday.