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Perdue to veto bill to extend jobless benefits

Posted April 16, 2011
Updated April 17, 2011

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— Gov. Bev Perdue announced Saturday that she intends to a veto a bill that keep unemployment benefits for about 37,000 people going but also ensures cuts to the state budget.

Republicans who control the General Assembly called a rare Saturday session to pass a bill that would keep flowing federally funded benefits for those who have been unemployed for up to 99 weeks. 

Perdue objected to a measure attached to the bill that stipulates that if a state budget isn't in place by the June 30 deadline, the state government would operate on a budget that is 13 percent less than what Perdue has proposed.

Both Perdue and Republican leaders cast the impasse as a disagreement over spending with the jobless caught in the middle.

"The General Assembly has once again shown they are willing to play games with people's lives in holding hostage some 37,000 unemployed North Carolinians," Perdue's spokeswoman Chrissy Pearson said in a statement. "But to sign the bill and suffer the extreme cuts proposed by Republicans would risk the future of this state and the lives of 9.5 million citizens."

"Republicans voted to extend unemployment benefits and prevent a government shutdown, but the governor is too addicted to state spending to support either of those efforts. She should be ashamed of herself," Senate Majority Leader Phil Berger, R-Rockingham, said in a statement.

"Perdue’s veto ... is the latest example of how far she will go to avoid working with Republicans in the General Assembly," Robin Hayes, chair of the state Republican party, said in a statement.

GOP leaders said the dual measures in the bill were meant to ensure that schools, state agencies and contractors know how much state spending they could count on if budget negotiations drag beyond the start of the new budget year.

"It is a shame that Governor Perdue would cut off the jobless benefits of 37,000 families to avoid cutting one cent from her big spending, big government budget proposal," Hayes said.

Jobless workers whose payments are stopped could recover the money later if legislators and Perdue later agree to change a formula that determines their eligibility.

North Carolina is one of about three-dozen states in which an extended benefits program of up to 20 weeks of compensation was created as a way to lessen the pain for the long-term unemployed caught in the recession's massive job losses.

The U.S. Labor Department notified North Carolina officials nearly two weeks ago that the extended benefits program has to stop paying out by Saturday because the state's recent three-month average unemployment rate had improved from 2010 and 2009. South Carolina and 13 other states have passed legislation to revise their formula and keep the extended benefits flowing, the ESC said.

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  • leeannprivette Apr 18, 2011

    Wildcat u said it all thanks.

  • wildcat Apr 18, 2011

    ALL THE UNEMPLOYED WHO BENEFITS WAS CUT BECAUSE OF GOV. PURDUE SHOULD REMEMBER THAT AND VOTE HER OUT NEXT YEAR WHEN SHE TRIES TO BE GOVERNOR AGAIN. VOTE HER OUT! VOTE HER OUT!

  • wildcat Apr 18, 2011

    SHE HAD EVEN MADE THE COMMENT: "ITS HER WAY OR NO WAY" WOW. I THOUGHT SHE WAS SUPPOSED TO BE THERE FOR THE PEOPLE OF NC. SHE IS ALL ABOUT HERSELF. LETS BE VERY CAREFUL IN THE NEXT GOVERNOR WE CHOOSE FOR NC. IT SHOULD BE A PEOPLE PERSON; AND NOT ABOUT SELF.

  • wildcat Apr 18, 2011

    It just might be time to have a recall and get a better Gov, she has done nothing except raise taxes and spent our money on black hole projects, wasteful.
    drkreamer

    THEN WHEN VOTING TIME COME AROUND NEXT YEAR, VOTE HER OUT. I TOTALLY AGREE WITH YOUR COMMENT. THANKS.

  • wildcat Apr 18, 2011

    is getting free tax money you are wrong.We pay into the unemployment it don't come out of your pocket

    The unemployement checks has tax taken out of it also. So some of you people need to check your information before putting anything out here. Thanks.

  • wildcat Apr 18, 2011

    WOW! Purdue has no heart at all for the unemployed. She don't even show care. I am really amazed she approved that NC was in a state of disaster. I am really impressed. Don't bite your tongue on that. When voting time comes around next year, you better believe me and all the thousands of unemployed will not be voting for her. We will vote her out. She will not see it coming. Pray for all the unemployed.

  • chenliliu3 Apr 18, 2011

    consensical, your comments show you know nothing about the current situation. The unemployed folks I know apply constantly for jobs outside their field and jobs that they'd rather not do. Companies have 200-300 applications for one job and are hiring the peron who has experience in that field, not someone who does not.

  • 6079 SMITH W Apr 18, 2011

    Good to know that there are some wise heads among the youngsters like you, geosol, that actually see what's for dinner in America. Watch for it. This will blow up in their faces, and they'll blame it on the "socialist-left-wing-media" for "distorting the facts".....AGAIN. It IS fun to watch, though, I must admit....even though it's so predictable. Typical of their "Ilk". ;)

  • leeannprivette Apr 18, 2011

    To those who have jobs,Be thankful,and to the person who said that the unemployed is getting free tax money you are wrong.We pay into the unemployment it don't come out of your pocket.This is to who ever u are hdsoftail.I look every day for a job.Thank u very much.

  • geosol Apr 18, 2011

    Looks like the far right whackos are giving Perdue a huge boost. Now that their ignorant and hate-filled agenda has been exposed and their lame tactics to try to ram their extremist agenda have back-fired, look to see Perdue's political clout increase. She will position herself as the counter to the right wing extremist agenda of destroying public education, jobs, and the environment to try to benefit the ultra rich. This is looking like a very appealing strategy, and history shows that it produces tangible positive results over time.

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