Springfield protest scheduled over ending COVID-19 relief benefits

Local News

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — Thousands of unemployed Missourians will be seeing fewer dollars on their benefits checks starting Saturday, June 12.

This change comes one month after Governor Mike Parson called for an end to additional money coming from the federal government.

During the pandemic, Missourians have been getting benefits from the state as part of COVID-19 relief along with up to $1,200 more per month.

On Saturday, June 12, a group plans to protest the move and bring light to what it calls the bigger problem affecting employment.

“The problem is not that people do not want to work,” said Seth Goodwin, party for Socialism and Liberation, Southwest Missouri (SWMO) Solidarity Network. “The problem is that currently, the jobs that are available do not pay. They do not pay worth much.”

Not enough pay is one argument. The other side says not enough motivation, federal unemployment benefits, and the extra $300 a week is the issue.

“They were intended to be temporary,” said Governor Mike Parson. “It is time that we end these programs that have incentivized people to stay out of the workforce.”

Missourians had 30 days to prepare for the end date of extra benefits. The party for Socialism and Liberation says this is specifically an attack on poor people.

Goodwin has a job and isn’t getting benefits, but is showing solidarity with others impacted by the change.

“There is no labor shortage,” said Goodwin. “It is clear there is a shortage of jobs that pay a living wage.”

That protest is being put on by members of the Southwest Missouri Solidarity Network. It’s happening at Park Central Square at 6 p.m.

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