Carl McKinney lost his job laying water pipes in March 2020 as the pandemic ramped up in San Antonio.
Since then, the extra unemployment assistance he’s received from the federal government, on top of the $194 he gets weekly from the state, has helped him get by.
“It’s been helpful,” McKinney said. “You know what I mean? Put money in my pocket — you know what I’m saying? Pay a little bills every now and then.”
The money was good enough that McKinney says he didn’t really look for work, though he knew he’d make more money with a job. He also just a daughter born recently and wanted to spend time with her.
But it was also his child’s birth that he says made him want to get back on his feet and do something with his time. Then, on Monday, Gov. Greg Abbott announced that, effective June 26, the state will withdraw from the program that provides unemployed Texans with an extra $300 per week, providing more motivation.
Without that extra $300 each week, McKinney said he won’t be able to make ends meet. Now, he’s looking to get training that will help him find a skilled job, like welding or being an electrician, and is looking forward to getting back to work.