North Carolina is about to become the first state in the Nation to not only cut off unemployment benefits offered by the federal government, but also give the Governor's cabinet an 8% pay increase. On July 1st 2013, a new law regarding state unemployment benefits will go into effect. The state is reducing the maximum unemployment benefits to only $350 per week and for no longer than 12-20 weeks. Due to this change, the state will no longer be eligible for the much needed federal unemployment benefit extension.
The governor and legistature say this change is needed becuause North Carolina owes the federal government approximately $2.5 billion in loans for maintaining the emergency unemployment extension program. However, neither the governor nor the legislature has done ANYTHING to create jobs, has voted itself pay increases, has eliminated the state child tax credit, and ironically is set to close 40 of the states unemployment offices. The average time for a person newly unemployed to find work nationally is now 36 weeks, and many are having trouble for much longer. The governor has taken the last lifeline that many unemployed people have and cut the strings to their benefits and left them to suffer without food, housing, or any means to an income in an already floundering state economy which he has failed to improve. With an estimated 80,000 long term unemployed already set to lose benefits, and the untold thousands that are not longer considered "unemployed" because their benefits have already been exhausted or they have given up locating work, the state is about to experience and even worse economic crisis. Thousands more are set to lose their jobs due to state cutbacks and they will be joining the unemployed as well. Governor McCrory, reinstate the state unemployment program so your citizens may receive their federal unemployment benefits they paid taxes to support for years. North Carolina does not need to cut benefits to those who earned them, the state needs to cut its wasteful spending on items such as 8% pay increases to YOUR cabinet while laying off thousands of employees. The state appears to have its priorities backwards when we are more concerned with giving the Carolina Panthers football team $87.5 million in taxpayer dollars for stadium renovations instead of investing that type of taxpayer dollars into the economy to create jobs for your growing unemployed.