Unemployment Extension, Continuing Resolution on Hold in NC

By   /   April 19, 2011  /   9 Comments

GOP leaders mull veto override while negotiating with Perdue

By Anthony Greco


RALEIGH — Republican leaders in the General Assembly say they’re working with Gov. Bev Perdue to resolve a cutoff in unemployment benefits after the governor vetoed a bill extending them this weekend. Benefits for some 37,000 North Carolinians who already had been collecting unemployment insurance for 79 weeks expired Saturday. Their extension remains on hold for now.

Perdue used the red ink on House Bill 383 late Saturday after deadly tornadoes tore through the state. The bill would have changed the equation the state uses to extend unemployment benefits to a maximum of 99 weeks. It also would have given the General Assembly greater leverage if Perdue chose to veto the budget near the end of the current fiscal year.

Whether the General Assembly will attempt to overcome Perdue’s veto, or split the provisions of H.B. 383 into separate measures, is unclear. Jordan Shaw, spokesman for House Speaker Thom Tillis, R-Mecklenburg, said, “We’re consulting with the Senate, and we’ll continue to do the same with the governor’s office.” Amy Auth, spokeswoman for Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger, R-Rockingham, said no decision has been made on whether to attempt a veto override.

The state must have a budget in place by July 1 every year. In the past when budget negotiations stalled, the legislature passed short continuing resolutions to keep government operating. H.B. 383 would have circumvented that concern by implementing a continuing resolution that kept state government running at 87 percent of the spending in the governor’s recommended base budget. The resolution would have remained in effect until July 1, 2012, or the passage of an official budget, whichever happened first.

Extending the benefits would not cost the state any money immediately, but it could require additional funding from state taxpayers next year. The state’s unemployment trust fund — which already is more than $2.6 billion in the red — pays the first 26 weeks of unemployment benefits. Uncle Sam fully covers the next 53 weeks of benefits.

Some states, including North Carolina, allow unemployed workers an additional 20 weeks of benefits, with the payments split 50/50 between state and federal funds. But the federal stimulus law has the federal government covering 100 percent of extended benefits for those final 20 weeks. Stimulus money runs out on Jan. 1, 2012, according the Employment Security Commission.

Republicans have enough votes in the Senate to override a veto. They fall four votes short of the three-fifths majority needed in the House. Any attempt to override Perdue’s veto would start in the House, because the bill originated in the lower chamber.

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  • http://forum.georgiapolicy.org Mike Klein, Editor GPPF

    Georgia General Assembly passed a bill on the final day of this year’s session to make long-term unemployed here eligible for 99 weeks of benefits. The state has about 260,000 people who are long-term unemployed, meaning 27 weeks or longer without work and actively seeking new employment.

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  • Joy Sykes

    Please see House bill #676……….first reading has been approved. This is important news for folks who have lost their benefits. As far as I know, it has not been linked to the budget.

  • John Chakarian

    Does Mr Predue think by denying the unemployed people of his state that somehow that will magically create jobs for the 37,000 people plus who are in need of the extension?Does he think by denying them the financial assistance they require until they are reemployed is going to improve the living conditions of his state?If you deny 37,000 people the only lifeline they have to keep a roof over their heads and their families heads in alot of these cases you are making a foolish mistake.What are people supposed to do with no jobs and no extension?I suppose you can use that money to build more jails and prisons because if you do not extend the unemployment extension I am sure your crime rate will soar sky high.Do the right thing and help the people you were elected to serve mr Predue.

  • John Chakarian

    So far the American people have been very peaceful through this whole unemployment extension thing but I dont know how much longer that is going to last.We see the citizens of countries accross the globe rising up in violent protests against their governments.I have to wonder if thats what the American government wants the American people to do?Maybe it is and maybe it isnt but I have a feeling if things dont chage real fast thats what will occure.’God bless America?”We better hope so and fast.

  • http://businessweek Ray Howell

    I am glad she vetoed the bill. My unemployment ran out over a year ago.
    I have been struggling and misery loves company. The Reps got what they wanted; the tax cuts. I wouldn’t have given them that either.

  • Lynn

    The extension of unemployment benefits restorations are now moving slowly due to the recent storms in NC It is hard to think of how many families who have lost so much from the devastating storms, have also lost their unemployment benefits.
    Many people are trying to recover and rebuild their lives, it seems now they are they supposed to do so without the unemployment benefits that are so badly needed now more than ever!
    Is this being concidered in the negotiations of the government?

  • bill

    Our State Government is filled with perdue she is a worthless individual , lies cheats and only for her personal gain and her family she employs. Perdue has no regard for the citizens of this state. she does not care if you lost your home to foreclosure, and now have no way to pay where you reside now .. does she care ….. Hell no!!!!! This state is run worse than the idiot Barrack OSAMA

    Personal gain Perdue you are a crook, like all politicians.

  • http://stanwilliamsmusic.com Stan williams

    I was struggling to find a job , after she cut out unemployment, I got so stressed that my blood pressure went higher than ever, and I had a heart attack, lost my fiance, am here alone now barely alive at my sister’s. After getting awarded for perfect attendance with 6 nights a week mandatory at my former job 2 years in a row prior… I hope perdue and all the politicians who played political football with our unemployment and Lives, are happy, but I suppose they are, because they could not Possibly care Any about their fellow human beings, and you can’t be in politics unless you have a Lot of money…