The swirling force of Texas politics

Hutchison 'Concerned' Over Unemployment Fund

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    U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison wants the stimulus money with fewer strings.

    Gubernatorial candidate Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison said Gov. Rick Perry should be looking for ways to accept $550 million in unemployment fund stimulus money but without committing the state to future federal mandates.

    She told reporters at a Texas Daily Newspaper Association meeting Monday there may be a way to do that. She said Perry should be looking at every avenue to keep employers from facing higher unemployment taxes next year.

    Perry faces Hutchison in the 2010 Republican primary. He recently rejected the federal money that would rescue the struggling unemployment insurance fund. He said it would commit the state to expanding jobless benefits.

    Lawmakers call the move politically motivated.

    Perry's aides did not immediately respond to Hutchison's remarks.