San Jose Mercury News
Millions of Americans face loss of unemployment benefits
By Dana Hull and Patrick May
The U.S. Senate on Tuesday failed to meet a deadline to extend federal unemployment benefits, threatening half a million Californians with the prospect of losing their benefits by the end of December.
An estimated 454,000 California job seekers are among about 2 million nationwide who will be cut off from weekly unemployment benefits by the end of the year if the federal Emergency Unemployment Compensation program is allowed to lapse.
California's 12.4 percent unemployment rate is the third-highest in the nation, after Nevada and Michigan, and the federal benefits have been a lifeline for long-term unemployed workers struggling to pay for basic expenses. In California, the average unemployment check is $297 a week.
We have been scratching our heads about the recent University of California fee hike, which brings the total increase to 40 percent over what tuition was two years ago, and the alleged attack on a campus policeman by a UC Merced student at the student demonstration against the fee increase.
It was good to see that Regent Odessa Johnson, from Modesto, voted against the increase.
The Merced Sun-Star reported on what the fuss was about:
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The recent rise in tuition is needed to fill in a nearly $1 billion hole in the UC system's budget because of state cuts, said UC President Mark Yudof. The increase would raise $180 million in annual revenue, with $64 million set aside for financial aid.