@NCCapitol

@NCCapitol

McCrory won't act to save jobless checks

Posted June 26, 2013

— State House and Senate Democrats are calling on Gov. Pat McCrory to save federal unemployment benefits scheduled to end July 1 for 71,000 people in North Carolina.

McCrory says that call won't be answered. 

The benefits are ending because Republican leaders enacted legislation that cuts state unemployment benefits. It's part of an overhaul GOP leaders say will help state employers dig their way out of a $2.5 billion debt to the federal government, incurred when the state's unemployment fund ran out of money during the recession.

"I'm taking a risk," McCrory told WRAL News Wednesday, "but we're going to put more people into jobs as opposed to on government payrolls and paying debt that we don't have a way to pay back."

The overhaul takes effect next Monday. Under federal rules, states that change their unemployment benefits lose eligibility for federal extended benefits, paid to long-time jobless workers who have exhausted other assistance.

Lawmakers discuss end to jobless benefits Lawmakers discuss end to jobless benefits

"It was known at that time by the leadership in the Senate and the House that, if they implemented the bill on July 1, that these 70,000 recipients would lose their money," said Rep. Paul Luebke, D-Durham. "Notwithstanding that information, the decision was made for July 1, so the benefits are cut off."

Democrats say GOP leaders should postpone the overhaul's effective date till Jan 1, 2014, when the federal aid is expected to end. 

GOP leaders say postponing the date will delay the repayment of the debt, costing businesses more money in the long run.

Democrats point out the benefits are 100 percent federally funded, and cutting them off will mean the loss of more than $500 million, most of it flowing into the state's worst-hit economic areas. 

"It doesn't add to our debt under the unemployment trust fund. It doesn't add to the amount we have to repay. It gives our economy some stimulus right now when it needs it. And it takes care of these families," said Senate Minority Leader Martin Nesbitt. "It's mothers and dads and children out here that, due to the economy that they did not create, they cannot get a job right now, and I'm calling on the governor to step in and do something about this."

"We are not recovering, and what we're doing at this General Assembly is not creating jobs," said Rep. Joe Sam Queen, D-Haywood. "At least accept the emergency benefits between now and Jan. 1."

"The governor, he's in the saddle pretty good now. Step forward and lead on something," urged Nesbitt, D-Buncombe. "This is getting to be a mean, mean place for people at the bottom and working families in this state, and this is an opportunity for him to fix that."

House Minority Leader Larry Hall echoed that call.

"The governor can step in and show some leadership, show some compassion, or just show common sense to say we should take these funds and help North Carolinians," said Hall, D-Durham. 

Gov. Pat McCrory McCrory discusses transportation funding, unemployment system

McCrory answered Wednesday that he is leading – just not in the direction Democrats want him to.

"I'm cutting up the credit card," he responded, adding that his administration is adding new workforce development programs to help unemployed workers.

"My goal is to get people into jobs, not to continue to be on unemployment," he said. "People who are requesting this change want to keep the status quo, and that status quo has not been very beneficial to our state or families or individuals for the past two or three years.

"The last time I checked, the president has not waived our debt," he added. "We have to pay it. Now, if the president is willing to waive our debt, $2.6 billion, then I'll talk to these Democrat leaders."

126 Comments

This story is closed for comments. Comments on WRAL.com news stories are accepted and moderated between the hours of 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. Monday through Friday.

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  • tarheelfan41 Jul 5, 7:19 p.m.

    For those on long term unemployment you should be ticked off at the democrats as they were in control at the time and had been in control for a long, long, time before that. The republicans will clean it up. It may hurt some, but it WILL be cleaned up!

  • tarheelfan41 Jul 5, 7:17 p.m.

    If the illegals with limited english and little education can find a job why can't you? I do not believe anyone looking 7 days a week 50 hours a week cannot find anyone that will hire them. Maybe take a bath for something different to try if you have been looking 25 weeks 7 days a week, 10 hours a day and cannot find a single business willing to hire you. Maybe you have a serious "YOU" issue that needs addressing!

  • tarheelfan41 Jul 5, 7:01 p.m.

    I bet more of those 70,000 people that was on long term unemployment suddenly find a job. I think those long termed unemployed will find some kind of a job on a higher percentage than when those weekly unemploment checks were rolling in.

  • rastubar Jul 2, 10:47 a.m.

    If the Democrats had done their job NC we would not be in this financial fix. The Dems have been in charge all of my 58 yrs. and you see where it has gotten us. DEBT! As long as you buy votes with "Programs" you will always be in DEBT! It is spelled "JOB" Go get a JOB! Why do I see "Help Wanted" signs in the businesses I visit? Maybe someone might have to work three part-time jobs. You do what you have to done besides being lazy!!!

  • rkutchjm Jul 1, 11:22 a.m.

    Previous comments are mainly disgusted citizens with politicians in this state. I have written an article detailing what Gov. McCrory has done and why? If he or a member of his family were one of the 70,000 participants in NC on Federal unemployment his perspective would be a little different. Please read:

    http://renovatingyourmind.com/2013/06/07/renovating-your-mind-is-seeing-the-vaporization-of-middle-class-america-together-we-can-rehydrate-our-economic-status/

    My article is on my blog

    RenovatingYour Mind.com

    I suggest everyone get a free blog on WordPress. Write about your unemployment dilemma in the state of NC. How the Gov. business buddies mainly offer low paying lousy benefit jobs in our state. He took our federal unemployment hostage to help out big business by lowering their tax rates. His spin is that everything will work out for the better for all of us in NC. He is going to get us out of this debt mess. Make that one term buddy so do it fast.

  • greg69innc Jun 29, 8:26 p.m.

    [abuse] Report abuse

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    Why is it the taxpayers responsibility to support people indefinitely that refuse to look for work? I know plenty of those also. A good compromise would be helping those long-term unemployed get new job training so they can get a job.

    werrewolfwoman
    That is what I have been saying all along. If we are willing to send illegals to our community colleges for free why in the world are we not standing behind our unemployed that want to be successful. Our unemployed folks aren't lazy they aren't bums they are moms, dads, young Americans that don't want a handout necessarily they want a footing to be able to put themselves in a position to have the life that they were WORKING for in the first place. If you think unemployment is a great lifestyle then try it for a while and you'll see things through others eyes rather than a short sighted narrow minded perspective that only hinders

  • bechtellaw2 Jun 29, 3:56 a.m.

    I will never vote for this man to be in office again. He has truly let my family and 70,999 other people down. We are the only state stopping emergency funding and in the current state of our economy it is the wrong move. There are three of us in this home looking for a job and NONE of us can find one that will compare to the income we had. McCrory is worse than Bev in my opinion and I pray he changes this situation before it is too late. We have lost our home, all of our retirement, and now the emergency benefits. McCrory is a poor example of leadership in North Carolina.

  • ccsmith1902 Jun 28, 5:34 p.m.

    McCrory can't create jobs overnight. Meanwhile, our citizens are left out in the cold. He and his moneybags are sending us far to the right and soon we'll be like Mississippi.

  • Good Girl Jun 28, 1:43 p.m.

    I think the people that are commenting on this article have never been without job!

  • Good Girl Jun 28, 1:41 p.m.

    Where are the jobs that the governor is talking about??!?!

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