State legislators are considering an overhaul of the state unemployment system that includes a major reduction in benefits for laid-off workers.
The potential cutbacks, unveiled Wednesday morning by a Republican-controlled committee, are included in a draft bill that takes a broad-brush approach to dealing with the state’s $2.48 billion debt to the federal government. The money was borrowed to pay for unemployment benefits.
Republican leaders are portraying the proposal as spreading the pain among employers and the unemployed. “It ain’t kind. It ain’t nice. But it’s important,” said Rep. Julia Howard, a Republican from Mocksville and co-chair of the Joint Revenue Laws Study Committee. “No one loves this bill.”
But advocacy groups for the poor contend the unemployed, who already are reeling from the effects of a struggling economy, would be hit disproportionately hard. Read more here.