One month, no benefits, no progress

Posted May 17, 2011

On tonight's 6pm newscast, WRAL turned a spotlight on the month-long political impasse over extended federal unemployment benefits, and what it's costing more than 37,000 jobless North Carolinians.  

Bruce Mildwurf sat down with a single mom who, having been cut off, can't afford the co-pay to take a sick child to the doctor. That story's here. laura leslie Could budget standoff lead to a state government shutdown?  

And David Crabtree and I talked about the bigger political implications of this fight.  If state lawmakers and the governor can't reach a deal to allow federal money to flow to tens of thousands of jobless folks, it's hard to imagine how bitterly they'll fight over a budget the state would actually have to pay for. Watch that segment at right. 

On a related note, House and Senate Democrats are holding a joint press conference tomorrow at 1:30pm to talk about the benefits impasse. We'll be streaming it live here at - tune in, and let us know what you think. 



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  • SARCASTICLES May 23, 2011

    These jokers are smug in their realization that only a small fraction of the people affected by their "Compassionate Conservatism" will be able to afford the trip to Raleigh to protest. Good luck with that strategery in the next election. Back During the Great Depression, men would sell apples for a nickel on the streets just to survive. I bet an enterprising feller could set up a Tar-and-Feather supply kiosk out in front of the roost on Jones St. and make a killin', even in this economy......just a hunch. Somebody would rake it in on a couple of Pitchfork and Torches vending machines, too. ;)

  • dlphnwmn8 May 23, 2011

    Senate leader Phil Berger, R-Rockingham, said Friday the formula change would be included with hundreds of other details in the roughly 300-page budget proposal the Senate will unveil next week. House Speaker Thom Tillis, R-Mecklenburg, said Republicans are willing to compromise. House GOP members plan to develop legislation next week continuing to link the two issues, but demanding less from the governor. Thousands of state jobs are in the balance, Tillis said. Once again we are being used as human bargaining chips. See you at the legislative building 1 awesome dad and be sure to pack a lunch. Oh that'a right....we can't afford lunch.

  • SARCASTICLES May 22, 2011

    Uhhh.....The Republican'ts have successfully pinned the blame on THEMSELVES, that snarky little trick of hijacking FEDERAL money for the unemployed to get their way in de-clawing the Governor on STATE business is transparent, and does not bear close inspection. Nice try, though. ;)

  • stanmak May 20, 2011

    @flow i accept your apology and your yeilding to reason.
    i dont care about listening to LL but its blatently obvious that she is in the liberal thinktank. you, LL, and the gov have successfully pinned the blame on tills and berger while enabling bev to completely wash her hands of this. That is wrong, and even if it means compromising on the budget i think our highest ranking official in NC should be able to make a DEAL.

  • Come On_Seriously May 19, 2011

    OK Stmk-since you again try to call me out ... Yes, LL did say that the gov shutdown is possible (interesting-you have blasted folks before for listening to her). Meanwhile, what wasn't said in the exhaustive 1 minute and 47 second discussion is that the state constitution gives the governor power to manage state money in line with revenues. I will agree with you-some limited government services will certainly stop until a budget is passed-but all state services will NOT shut down. Meanwhile, you still seem more interested in proving that you're right about something than providing any useful comments.
    I gather that Bev must have stood you up for junior prom or broke up with you on your birthday the way your vehemence towards her continues to flow. Meanwhile, the boys who could fix this problem don't care to fix it, and shuffle things around so that they won't even have to talk about it. These lawmakers will indeed pay the price, but not just the gov.

  • atsirk58 May 19, 2011

    Why not a recall? I wrote Senator Tom Apodaca yesterday....what a surprise... no response.

    We have individuals as the saying goes... "who are just too big for their britches". IMHO this situation calls for folks who are unemployed along with other interested parties to organize..and begin with a recall petition.

    I was taken aback on last night's news to hear the Senate Republican leader smugly assert "We voted for the bill". I thought that was atrocious.

    I suggested to Tom... hey, be the bigger person.... and you know something crazy.....reach out a hand in compromise....... ignored.

    If you do not like the situation... change it.... if you do not like the leaders... peacefully, but promptly change them.

    The thing that bothers me.. the most.. is that the Governor and the legislature are mimicing the situation in DC. There is a dearth of movement, because of the partisanship being played.

    We must have leaders who are committed to the benefit of ALL.

  • dlphnwmn8 May 19, 2011

    We are now at day 43 and up to 45,000 individuals unable to collect. Understand the 45,000 count does not include spouses and children. A friend with family had his electricity cut off the Thursday before Mother's Day. Can you imagine what kind of weekend they had? And now facing eviction May 31 if UI not reinstated. Check out this article: unemployment benefits stalemate splits jobless family - - #ncga #ncpol. Our elected offiicials know each day they will eat three meals, have water to drink and to bathe, be warm on chilly nights and cool on warm days, be able to afford gas, to buy meds, have insurance when ill, their mortgage will be paid on tiime and their lights will shine when needed in the dark of night. They know when payday is as they work for us and we pay them. Shouldn't they start working FOR us and not AGAINST us?

  • leethree May 18, 2011

    As is way too typical, the republicants in the legislature are holding 45,000 NC families hostage to their dogmatic ideology. They are not being the least bit empathetic to the plight of the unemployed or for that matter to the broader issue of growing jobs in NC. They should deal with the NC budget on the merits of their arguments rather than trying to force their way by creating unnecessary pain for the long-term unemployed. I fervently hope that 2012 will see a reversal of their last electoral gains when the voters wake up to their mischief.

  • dgods8 May 18, 2011

    well after watching what I could of the the press conference (audio/video) problems. I gather that nothing will happen until the beginning of june since the repub's moved the calendar to address this as soon as they heard it was being attached to another! bill. Their reaction will be the same but, at least it is coming to light that the repubs are just shuffling things around in order not to pass this. It can be done in one day and no one's hands are tied except for the people of NC waiting....

  • stanmak May 18, 2011

    @Flow Easy : Laura Leslie "A government shutdown is a possibility." how does it feel to be wrong?????????? I agree with LL here, at the end of the day voters want their leaders to just make it work. the focus is on the governor here and she will pay the price in 2012.