Rep. George Miller, D-Martinez, introduced today a jobs bill that would funnel federal dollars into local governments and nonprofits and allow the rehiring of laid-off workers.
It includes two years worth of money to rehire or retain teachers, police officers and firefighters. It also pays for on-the-job training positions in the private sector.
The subject matter fits Miller, the ranking Democrat on the House Education and Workforce Committee.
But jobs and job creation has become the top theme coming out of many Democrats’ offices as persistent unemployment continues to plague the country and threaten the party’s hopes for retaking the House of Representatives and re-electing President Barack Obama.
Miller isn’t too worried about his own re-election prospects even though he will have new district boundaries per the maps adopted earlier this month by the California Citizens Redistricting Commission.
The veteran lawmaker is running in the reconstituted 11th Congressional District, which consists entirely of Contra Costa County communities stretching from Richmond eastward to Pittsburg and south into the San Ramon Valley. His old 7th District included portions of Solano County and none of the San Ramon Valley towns. Democrats have a smaller but still very significant party registration edge in Miller’s new district — 24 percentage points in the 11th vs. 35 in the 7th.
Miller’s press release follows.
Miller Announces Jobs Plan
Legislation Will Create and Save Public and Private Sector Jobs
WASHINGTON, D.C. – With families and local communities struggling especially hard in this economy, U.S. Rep. George Miller (D-CA), the senior Democrat on the Education and the Workforce Committee, introduced a jobs bill today. The bill, Local Jobs for America Act, will save and create jobs quickly in both the public and private sectors and help restore vital services that families and local communities rely on. It is similar to legislation Miller introduced last year with the support of hundreds of organizations across the country.
“Job losses in communities across the country are a threat to our economic stability. Communities are being forced to choose between raising taxes to continue their vital services or letting go of vital employees. Families, similarly, are experiencing these dangerous cuts in the form of fewer teachers and fewer police officers. Families shouldn’t have to worry about their children losing a year of learning or about their safety being compromised, on top of everything else they’re dealing with in this economy. This bill will quickly create local jobs that we can count – and jobs that we can count on.”
“Republicans in Congress have yet to outline a jobs plan. Instead, they have shown time and time again that they would rather kill jobs in America if their extreme and ideological demands are not met,” Miller continued. “Republicans’ inability to compromise is the biggest threat to Americans jobs right now. This legislation outlines a jobs plan that every Member of Congress should be proud to support.”
Statistics show that while the demand for services provided by state and local governments has increased, the number of people employed in these offices has fallen by over 400,000 since August 2008. In April, May and June of this year, communities averaged a loss of 23,000 jobs a month.
The bill will provide an investment over two years to local communities to hold off planned cuts or to hire back workers for local services who have been laid-off because of tight budgets. Funding would go directly to eligible local communities and nonprofit community organizations to decide how best to use the funds.
The Local Jobs for America Act will also fund approximately 50,000 additional private-sector on-the-job training positions to help businesses put people back to work. Workers will be able to acquire core job skills and important work experience for private employers.
The bill also includes $24 billion to help states support 250,000 education jobs, put 5,500 law enforcement officers on the beat, and retain, rehire, and hire firefighters.
For more information on The Local Jobs for America Act, click here.