McCrory: Emergency benefits will end in July

Posted February 1, 2013

— Gov. Pat McCrory says he will sign an unemployment overhaul that will cut off emergency benefits for some 80,000 jobless North Carolinians.

"I will not support the extension of unemployment beyond July of this year," McCrory told a meeting of the Tobacco Growers Association of North Carolina. "I think we need to now draw the line." 

The proposal would change North Carolina's unemployment system in order to pay down a debt of $2.5 billion, racked up during the recession when state unemployment taxes didn't keep up with jobless claims. It would raise taxes slightly on employers, while making steep cuts to the amount, duration and access to benefits for laid-off workers.

If the bill takes effect July 1 as written, it will trigger a provision in the "fiscal cliff" bill that governs federal emergency extended unemployment benefits.

Because North Carolina's quarterly unemployment rate is still higher than 9 percent, long-term unemployed workers here are eligible for the federally-funded benefits.

At present, about 81,000 people are receiving those benefits, which bring about $100 million into the state's economy every month.

McCrory McCrory won't block cuts to jobless benefits

But if lawmakers cut the state's unemployment benefits, jobless workers here will lose their eligibility for federal assistance. Their checks will stop when the state overhaul takes effect.

Despite that impact, House and Senate leaders say they won't delay the overhaul. McCrory said he won't delay it, either.

"I refuse to let us continue to live off of a credit card. We're going to pay off the credit card. We're going to change the rules and policies," he said.

"The current status quo of how we've done unemployment has not put more people on the payroll of private-sector jobs. It's put more people on the government payrolls of unemployment," he said. "We can no longer afford to do that in North Carolina. We are changing our policy now, and that will be one of the first bills I sign." 

House Speaker Thom Tillis says he expects the overhaul bill will win final House approval Tuesday. It then goes to the Senate, where President Pro Tem Phil Berger says it has strong support. It could be on the governor's desk by next weekend.


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  • Terkel Feb 4, 2013

    "The folks who get 'cut off' the federal extension will only be eligible for welfare if they have children. Food stamps are another matter..."

    They are indeed. Teachers can get food stamps and apparently have no shame about doing so...and then staying on them for the full year. This perhaps accounts for all those women with designer bags, big cars and nails who whip out the ol' EBT to pay for the steak. They should have to certify every week just as UE recips do.

  • beachboater Feb 4, 2013

    North Carolina has a history of this practice. And guess what? IT WORKS!!! I've heard that something like 80% of people receiving unemployment get a job within two weeks of the benefits running out.

    There are jobs out there. They may not be what you had before, and they may not pay the same, but they are there. I know of instances where wages have gotten too high for the positions, so the company either closes or lets people go to hire people with more reasonable salaries and demands.

  • Terkel Feb 4, 2013

    " My suggestion to the unemployed would be to post your resumes on websites such as Monster and CareerBuilder. I have had amazing results doing this."

    That's odd. All I get are computer viruses and marketing calls disguised as people who actually have jobs to offer.

    Don't forget those third and fourth party "recruiters" have to make their quota of calls and keep their "databases" updated! I just love the way the script comes pouring out of their mouths in one stream: "Hi FIRSTNAME (as if we were friends), I just came across your resume in our database and wanted to let you know we have several opportunities that would be a good fit for you so send us an updated resume (because this is nothing but an exercise in futility for you)..."

    I ask them to send me a copy of the resume they're looking at before we go one step further. That handles it every time.

  • Grand Union Feb 4, 2013

    "I agree. The madness has to end sometime. When the money is gone....its gone!"

    Its not gone anywhere but into the pockets of the rich....

  • littleriver69 Feb 4, 2013

    I agree. The madness has to end sometime. When the money is gone....its gone!

  • Grand Union Feb 4, 2013

    "I agree with Governor MCRory, there should be a cut off date, but to cut down what unemployed are getting I am against. I hope the Republicans will reconsider that step"

    Normally there is a cut off date of 6 months but the feds extended it first under W then Obama because of the recession.
    And the only reason there is any State shortage for this is because they cut the amount companies had to pay during good times and did not increase it back even in bad times......
    Its companies that saved this money but its the poor that will be paying the price of paying it back.

  • Grand Union Feb 4, 2013

    This is a net cost to the State......so the State lose Millions of Federal Dollars, gets 80,000 more people on welfare and who knows how many more homes in foreclosure..........

  • kmt Feb 4, 2013

    You can tell who a person really is when you take everything away from them. McCrory is doing a good thing, but there will be a price to pay for this.

  • Bealzebub Feb 3, 2013

    This guy has never been without a job from being well connected in the upper crust his whole life. To say collecting unemployment is living off a credit card, how exactly do these people eat then? The benefit they get is already not enough to live on. So far all I've heard from this guy is more of the same old tired rhetoric that somehow anybody unemployed or poor is lazy and mooching off all these great job providers.(That don't seem to be providing any jobs) It's more of this insane supply side logic that says if we just keep lying the public prostate for the wealthy and businesses that even with no DEMAND that economic growth will magically happen due to supply. Even though nobody is making supply because nobody can buy! If he thinks just removing 100 million from the local economy is not going to hurt local businesses he is not thinking this through.

  • birkie74693 Feb 3, 2013

    Art Pope must have ordered McCrony to increase the supply of slave laborers to sell to China. God forbid that the rich piggies pay a few more pennies of tax on gas for their yachts and luxury cars, as long as there are decent working people we can bleed a bit more. Soon Art Pope will order McCrony to reinstate indentured servitude and revoke the child-labor laws.