I love how Tennessee thinks: Hey, we’re not ripping them off as much as the check-cashing places were, so that makes us the good guys!
WASHINGTON — Many states shortchange the jobless by distributing unemployment benefits on debit cards loaded with obnoxious fees, according to a new study by the National Consumer Law Center.
Of the 40 states that have switched from paper checks to prepaid debit cards, 22 states’ cards charge ATM fees, 24 charge balance inquiry fees, and 28 charge inactivity fees. The cards in Arkansas, Idaho, Nebraska, Ohio, and Oregon come with overdraft fees ranging from $10 to $20.
And in Connecticut, Iowa, Rhode Island, and Tennessee, cardholders “must pay for every ATM inquiry or pay a denied transaction fee if they request cash when their balance is insufficient,” the study says.
Tennessee stands out for having the card with the most “junk fees,” the study says. Tennessee’s card, provided by JPMorgan Chase, charges $1 for initial ATM withdrawals, 40 cents for balance inquiries, and 25 cents whenever someone swipes the card at checkout. It’s one of just four states that doesn’t provide even one free ATM withdrawal per deposit.
Tennessee doesn’t think its card’s fees are junk.
“I’m not sure calling them ‘junk fees’ is a fair statement,” said Jeff Hentschell, a spokesman for the Tennessee Department of Workforce Development, which distributes Tennessee Automated Payment cards for jobless benefits. “When you look at the context of where we were and where we are today, the fees are actually minimal compared to where people were going to cash paper checks before.”
I wonder which politicians are paying off which banker friends with these contracts?
Oh dear. This isn’t good:
Anyone who has ever had a bedbug infestation knows full well what a nuisance the pests can be. Unlike ticks and mosquitoes, however, bedbugs, which feed on human blood, are not known to spread disease and are generally not viewed as a major public health threat.
But a peer-reviewed study published online Wednesday in a journal of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests the pests could play a role in disease transmission. In a tiny sample of bedbugs, collected from a small number of residents living in crowded conditions in a poor neighborhood in Canada, researchers found the drug-resistant bacterium known as MRSA.
Who could have predicted this from the rat’s nest that is Washington, D.C.?
Republican Federal Communications Commission commissioner Meredith Attwell Baker is planning to leave the agency for a job at Comcast Corp., according to people with knowledge of the matter.
Ms. Baker is expected to announce her departure as soon as this week for an unknown position at the Philadelphia-based cable giant. Comcast declined to comment, a company spokeswoman said.
Ms. Baker did not respond to several emails and phone calls for comment.
[...] Baker’s move to Comcast comes just four months after she voted, along with three of the agency’s other FCC commissioners, to approve Comcast’s $13.75 billion deal to acquire control of NBC Universal from General Electric Co.
Roberta Flack with the Ewan McColl classic: