RALEIGH: NC Democrats want long-term jobless aid revived - WFLA News Channel 8

NC Democrats want long-term jobless aid revived

Posted: Updated:
RALEIGH, N.C. -

U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan said Monday she's pushing North Carolina to rejoin the rest of the states to help the long-term unemployed with emergency unemployment benefits. But Republican legislative leaders - including one who wants to unseat her this fall - argue she should have done more on the issue earlier.

Hagan held a news conference in Raleigh with Democratic state legislators, where they criticized North Carolina's General Assembly for actions that led to the elimination in July of extended federal emergency jobless benefits for as many as 170,000 families.

The payments ended because the state was disqualified from the program after the Republican-led General Assembly in early 2013 approved changes to the state's unemployment insurance system that reduced weekly benefits and the number of weeks that benefits could be received.

Meanwhile, the payments ran out nationwide Dec. 28, and the U.S. Senate planned to begin considering Tuesday a three-month extension of benefits that would affect an estimated 1.3 million people. Hagan introduced a provision last month that would make North Carolina eligible again for those benefits if they are reinstated nationwide.

"The General Assembly knowingly and willingly violated federal law, and I refuse to let the people of our state suffer because of their reckless actions," Hagan said in a written statement, adding "North Carolinians struggling to get by while looking for work should receive the same benefits as citizens in other states.

Senate leader Phil Berger, R-Rockingham, and House Speaker Thom Tillis, R-Mecklenburg, later Monday blamed Hagan for failing, in late 2012 during congressional budget and tax negotiations, to find a way to exempt North Carolina from losing those benefits when the legislature changed its unemployment insurance program a couple months later.

"If she truly cared about these North Carolinians, she would have done what the General Assembly called on her to do more than a year ago," Berger and Tillis said in a statement. "But she dropped the ball and is now desperately trying to spin her way out of the damage she created."

The unemployment benefit overhaul was designed in part to accelerate the repayment of more than $2 billion in benefit payments North Carolina owed the federal government from the Great Recession. General Assembly leaders say they had asked her to grandfather North Carolina, but it didn't happen.

The emergency benefit issue is an early-year conflict between Hagan, who is seeking re-election in November, and Tillis, one of at least five Republicans seeking the Senate GOP nomination in May.

  • PoliticsMore>>

  • NC GOP Senate candidates face off as early voting begins

    NC GOP Senate candidates face off as early voting begins

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 11:15 PM EDT2014-04-24 03:15:49 GMT
    The four top-polling Republican Senate candidates, vying to unseat Democrat Kay Hagan, debated on Wednesday night in Raleigh, the night before early voting was set to begin. The primary is May 6, but voters can start heading to the polls on Thursday.During the half hour televised debate, State House of Representatives Speaker Thom Tillis of Charlotte said he was leading a conservative revolution in Raleigh, cutting regulations and taking credit for falling unemployment numbers. Tillis faces c...
    The four top-polling Republican Senate candidates, vying to unseat Democrat Kay Hagan, debated on Wednesday night in Raleigh, the night before early voting was set to begin. The primary is May 6, but voters can start heading to the polls on Thursday.During the half hour televised debate, State House of Representatives Speaker Thom Tillis of Charlotte said he was leading a conservative revolution in Raleigh, cutting regulations and taking credit for falling unemployment numbers. Tillis faces c...
  • Committee proposes rules for drone use in NC

    Committee proposes rules for drone use in NC

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 4:58 PM EDT2014-04-23 20:58:27 GMT
    A legislative committee approved a set of regulations that it hopes will calm people's fears about the use of drones while allowing the industry to flourish.
    A legislative committee approved a set of regulations that it hopes will calm people's fears about the use of drones while allowing the industry to flourish.
  • Republican NC Senate candidates meet in debate

    Republican NC Senate candidates meet in debate

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 2:24 PM EDT2014-04-23 18:24:44 GMT
    Thom Tillis largely shrugged off criticism about aspects of his legislative record from one of the three other candidates participating in their first television debate.
    Thom Tillis largely shrugged off criticism about aspects of his legislative record from one of the three other candidates participating in their first television debate.
  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Mom bites off dog's ear to save daughter during attack

    Mom bites off dog's ear to save daughter during attack

    Tuesday, April 22 2014 2:49 PM EDT2014-04-22 18:49:19 GMT
    Image from CNN/KHOU-TVImage from CNN/KHOU-TV
    In a backyard in Alvin, swings a very lucky girl. Her name is Mackenzi Plass, or Kenzi for short, and she survived a dog attack and has undergone several surgeries."She'll be two and a half in May," said her very proud mother Chelsi Camp. "She's doing great. You wouldn't know it if you couldn't see."Mackenzi has scars on her face after the ordeal just weeks ago that put her mother's animal instincts to the test."You do whatever you can," said Camp. "I don't have physical strength at my side."...
    In a backyard in Alvin, swings a very lucky girl. Her name is Mackenzi Plass, or Kenzi for short, and she survived a dog attack and has undergone several surgeries."She'll be two and a half in May," said her very proud mother Chelsi Camp. "She's doing great. You wouldn't know it if you couldn't see."Mackenzi has scars on her face after the ordeal just weeks ago that put her mother's animal instincts to the test."You do whatever you can," said Camp. "I don't have physical strength at my side."...
  • Owner of Raleigh 'Party Mansion' guilty of tax evasion

    Owner of Raleigh 'Party Mansion' guilty of tax evasion

    Monday, April 14 2014 4:07 PM EDT2014-04-14 20:07:04 GMT
    Claude Verbal II, who now lives in Miami, pleads guilty to a number of federal tax evasion charges.
    Claude Verbal II, who now lives in Miami, pleads guilty to a number of federal tax evasion charges.
  • Piedmont Farm Tour

    Piedmont Farm Tour

    Piedmont Farm Tour

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 12:25 PM EDT2014-04-23 16:25:38 GMT
    The 2014 Piedmont Farm Tour is happening April 26-27 from 2-6pm both days! Come learn about the Triangle’s local and organic farm food scene. Meet local farmers tour their farms!View ourGoogle Interactive Mapfor alist ofthe exceptional farms on the tour this year – with driving directions!Download a PDF of theFarm Tour Brochure - Farm tour maps, directions and descriptions of all the fun things to do at each farm! How to Take the Piedmont Farm Tour Load up a car with your friends andfamily...
    The 2014 Piedmont Farm Tour is happening April 26-27 from 2-6pm both days! Come learn about the Triangle’s local and organic farm food scene. Meet local farmers tour their farms!View ourGoogle Interactive Mapfor alist ofthe exceptional farms on the tour this year – with driving directions!Download a PDF of theFarm Tour Brochure - Farm tour maps, directions and descriptions of all the fun things to do at each farm! How to Take the Piedmont Farm Tour Load up a car with your friends andfamily...
Powered by WorldNow

200 South Parker Street, Tampa, FL 33606

Telephone: 813.228.8888
Fax: 813.225.2770
Email: news@wfla.com

Can’t find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.