Bill to slash unemployment moving through House - WBTV 3 News, Weather, Sports, and Traffic for Charlotte, NC

Bill to slash unemployment moving through House

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RALEIGH, NC (WBTV) -

The Republican majority of the House Finance Committee handily squashed efforts to soften a bill that would slash jobless benefits.

If the wheel continues to spin this quickly, the unemployed will soon see a reduction in the amount of assistance they get every week, and the extent of  time they qualify.

On Wednesday, we brought you news of a protest in Charlotte. Advocates of the unemployed there said it is unfair to cut the maximum weekly benefit from $535 to $350. They called it the Cat Food Budget, saying that's all you can afford to eat on $350 a week.

They're also upset that the bill would replace 26 weeks of benefits with a sliding cap of 12 to 20 weeks, depending on the unemployment rate.

But on Thursday, state Republicans did not let those protests deter them. And that's because North Carolina has gone into deep debt providing unemployment extensions. The state owes the federal government $2.8 billion borrowed over the past few years to pay jobless claims.

If the bill passes, North Carolina will be the first state to end federal emergency benefits.

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