A Georgia lawmaker wants the unemployed to put in community service hours in exchange for their government-paid jobless benefits.
John Albers, a Republican state senator, has proposed a bill that would require out-of-work Georgians to volunteer at charities at least 24 hours every week, according to MyFoxAtlanta.com. Otherwise, they wouldn't receive unemployment benefits.
"We want to have a society that is responsible and that is accountable," he said.
The lawmaker, who calls his bill the Dignity for the Unemployed Act, brushed off concerns that the volunteerism would cut into valuable job-searching time. And he said the law would provide "flexibility" so that if somebody needs to go to extra interviews one week, he or she could make up the volunteerism hours the following week.
But former State Labor Commissioner Michael Thurmond told MyFoxAtlanta.com the proposal could create a problem, since it would conflict with federal law.
Furthermore, he said, "The problem is unemployment. It's not people not volunteering."