Gov. Cooper vetoes bill that would have ended extra $300 jobless benefit in N.C.

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper speaks with reporters after testifying before the House Natural...
North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper speaks with reporters after testifying before the House Natural Resources Committee hearing on climate change on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Feb. 6, 2019. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)(Cliff Owen | AP)
Published: Jul. 2, 2021 at 1:26 PM EDT
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RALEIGH, N.C. (WBTV/AP) - Governor Roy Cooper has vetoed a bill that would have ended the $300 federal weekly supplemental benefit to the unemployed in North Carolina.

Republicans in charge of the North Carolina General Assembly had previously agreed to the legislation ending the extra benefit. Nearly all Democrats voted against the elimination, which was a signal that Gov. Cooper would possibly veto it.

Gov. Cooper made the following statement on Senate Bill 116, also known as the Putting North Carolina Back to Work Act.

“Unemployment is declining with more people getting vaccinated and into the workforce as North Carolina has strengthened work search requirements for those receiving benefits. The federal help that this bill cuts off will only last a few more weeks and it supplements North Carolina’s state benefits, which are among the stingiest in the country. Prematurely stopping these benefits hurts our state by sending back money that could be injected into our economy with people using it for things like food and rent. I support strong efforts to make more quality childcare available and to provide businesses with funds for hiring bonuses and the bill falls short on both of these,” Gov. Cooper said.

The Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation already is expected to expire nationwide in early September.

Senate Bill 116 had the purpose of withdrawing the state from from the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation agreement that provides additional payments to unemployment insurance claimants through Sept. 6, 2021.

Republicans were agreeing with business owners who say the extra benefit are a disincentive to return to work. Democrats say it’s the wrong time to cut off benefits.

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. WBTV contributed to this story.