Benefits impasse drags on

Posted May 26, 2011

Around 45,000 jobless people in North Carolina will have to wait another week to see if their federal unemployment checks will start flowing again. 

The House was set to vote today on a new fix for the problem. That measure, House Bill 439, would make the needed legal change that would allow people in this state to resume receiving federal extended unemployment benefits.

However, as in their last attempt, which Gov. Perdue vetoed, GOP leaders again yoked the formula change to an unrelated state budget provision.

If the House had passed the measure today, it could have been on Perdue's desk by the middle of next week. But House Speaker Thom Tillis decided today to delay any vote on it until next Tuesday. Tillis Tillis explains delay of unemployment fix

"We’ve been told the governor was quoted yesterday in the press that she would veto it. So the question is, if the governor’s gonna veto it, why would we take up time here on something that she’s staked out and said she would veto?" Tillis said after session this afternoon.

He said House leaders are focusing today on the budget instead. "Why would we, on a day when we have all the people here in town able to go and review the budget and spend their time productively, spend an hour, hour and a half here debating something that she's already said she'll veto?" 

I can't find any instance of Perdue saying she "would veto" this bill, and her staff says the governor has not said as much. Still, they don't deny a veto would be likely. Perdue's comments about it Wednesday night were definitely negative, and she vetoed a similar measure last month. 

The Senate version includes a provision that would fix the unemployment formula, though it would probably be July (at the earliest) before the budget measure would become law. That would be too late for some of the 45,000 jobless, who say they're on the verge of losing homes and cars without the federal help.  About 2,100 people are added to that number each week. 

"We may go after it next week, because I agree with you we need to restore the benefits, which would include retroactive credits for those who've been waiting for the payments," Tillis said. "But right now, we're just trying to figure out if we can move with the budget and get it done with the budget." 



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  • rhayle Jun 1, 2011

    why dont we just not pay bills no more, refuse to pay taxes

  • SpaceCowboy May 31, 2011

    it is now in with a budget again instead of seperate bill. So tired of this.

  • richardh May 31, 2011


  • SpaceCowboy May 31, 2011

    the bill will be discussed again @2PM today, 5/31. Lets hope people can get more than a box of food from the church this week. Meanwhile , is anyone else commuting from Raleigh to Boone or Virginia in order to get/keep a job? Its a long way, but it is a good job, except it costs more in gasoline to go to and from. Wondering how people are coping with working but yet net money comes into the house.

  • 1 awesome Dad May 30, 2011

    remember people to vote straight democrat in 2012 and save your family.

  • 1 awesome Dad May 30, 2011

    Why should they care when legislatures like Mr. Laroque are paying themselves 195,000 or 3,750 a week, or 93.75 an hour to GIVE loans to the ones who cant qualify for a private loan with taxpayer money. It must be nice living the high life in Kinston mooching off of the taxpayers.

  • 1 awesome Dad May 30, 2011

    Dont worry folks when Pat McCory gets in office he and Berger, Tillis, Apodoca are going to finish off the families in North Carolina.

    Our children are doomed for sure as they already cut their throats in their education and are starving thousands of them at home.

  • 1 awesome Dad May 30, 2011

    Your republican senators in Raleigh take pleasure in starving families and children. I wonder when they are going to run out the senior citizens and starve them too. You know they're helpless and Phil Berger and his legal mafia of republicans will lean on them next.

    Thanks republicans for slitting the throats of our children

  • 1 awesome Dad May 30, 2011

    I wonder if Phil Berger prayed in church for all the children going hungry due to his lack of leadership. Thanks Phil for clarifying to all of North Carolina that you dont care that you're slowly starving families and you're no different in Gadaffi only he shot his people and you are slowly starving yours.

  • dlphnwmn8 May 30, 2011

    There is no better example of the saying “Absolute power corrupts absolutely” than this. And power they have. But are they acting as good stewards of their power? Instead of taking the moral high ground, as Berger states he knows of our hardships, and sending a clean bill (HB 676) to Perdue, he and every single republican instead elected to be cold, callous and vindictive when offered the chance to vote on legislation to restore benefits immediately. Remember this from just last week “Amendment failed on party lines. All Rs voted to keep benefit fix tied to budget measure. All Ds voted to separate them.” Which means Berger (and Tillis) continue to speak for all the republicans. In this interview Berger made it crystal clear he and the other republicans know we are experiencing extreme hardship and stress. But too bad. Unless they get what they want, we get nothing and continue to give up everything. Berger could not have made it any plainer that they just don’t care.