Senate Dems push again for jobless benefits

Posted May 4, 2011

Senate Democrats have launched a parliamentary maneuver to force majority Republicans to go on record for or against renewing federal jobless benefits for 37,000 unemployed North Carolinians.

The maneuver, called a “discharge petition,” is a way to force a bill out of committee and onto the floor for a vote. The bill to be discharged is a measure that would change the state’s unemployment formula to allow extended federal benefits to resume.

The discharge petition requires signatures from two-thirds of the Senate’s members. That will require some Republican support. So far, only Democrats have signed it. Nesbitt says each member will be asked to add his or her signature.

“We’re gonna keep this at the forefront,” Nesbitt pledged, saying the people whose benefits have been held up by the current political impasse “need somebody to advocate for them.”

“Those people are for real. They’re real-life workers,” Nesbitt told reporters Tuesday. “If we don’t do something to help them now, they’re gonna be in worse shape tomorrow than they were today. It just can’t get better for them out there until they can find a job.”

“It’s almost like intentional pain we’re inflicting on these people, to say 'I know you’re down and out, I know you’ve had the lick, but – and I know all I can do for you is about maybe 350 dollars a week, but I’m not gonna do that, either',” Nesbitt said.

“None of our skin in the game, no hide off of us. And we just won’t do it.”

Nesbitt also said his caucus is “anxious” about deep cuts to education and other services in the House budget. Referring to earlier comments by Senate Leader Phil Berger, Nesbitt said, “Apparently our leadership on the Senate side has indicated that ain’t nothing, that we’ll do even more than they’ve done.” Senate Minority Leader Martin Nesbitt Senate Dem Leader Nesbitt's weekly news conference

Nesbitt said Senate Dems are working to calculate the numbers of jobs cut in the Republican budget. “If in fact the estimates are right and we’re fixin’ to do away with 30,000 jobs in this state, that’s about three quarters of a percent on the unemployment rate.”

Watch Nesbitt’s unedited comments at right.


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  • 1 awesome Dad May 11, 2011

    Senator Nesbitt is on top of reality

  • dlphnwmn8 May 9, 2011

    Recall time!!!!!

  • 1 awesome Dad May 9, 2011

    Does anybody know which circus Phil Berger worked at before he became a Senator?

  • 1 awesome Dad May 9, 2011

    Nothing yet on 676 however the Republicans want to pass a bill allowing unemployment as long as we volunteer for community service for about 5-10 hours a week. Other words they want us to fill all the positions they are going to cut with their budget and have the feds pay for it.

    I feel this is wrong in that volunteering keeps me from job interviews, prospecting, and whatever I need to do to get a job. I should not have to spend extra money on gas which should go to paying for internet, telephone, electricity things that are essential for finding a job.

  • dlphnwmn8 May 9, 2011

    Anything on HB 676....stand alone Unemployment Benefits Extension??????

  • dlphnwmn8 May 9, 2011

    stanmak: you still haven't shared your thoughts as to why the senators attached the Unemployment Extension to HB 383 at the last minute and presented it less that 24 hours prior to the benefits expiration in lieu of passing stand alone extension HB 676. Or perhaps I am missing your point. The Governor stated to send a clean bill (HB 676) and it will be signed.

  • 1 awesome Dad May 9, 2011

    All those who refuse to sign the bill should have to answer as to why they are not willing to do whatever is necessary to protect their citizens that voted them there.

  • 1 awesome Dad May 8, 2011

    Phil Berger could not lead a flock of chickens to the exit door of a chicken processing plant!!!

  • stanmak May 6, 2011

    exactly dolphin. i just want our governor to govern.

    you cant blame a manager/dept head for the company that he works for. you blame the owner/operator, the guy that is supposed to be in charge.

  • 1 awesome Dad May 6, 2011

    Thank you to all nineteen democrat senators that have signed this bill so far. Hopefully this will show the rest of them how important this bill truly is.