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House approves cuts to jobless benefits to pay down debt

The state House on Monday night tentatively approved an overhaul of the state’s unemployment system along partisan lines after voting down a series of amendments offered by Democrats.

The bill cuts the maximum benefits paid to unemployed workers by roughly one-third, from $535 a week to $350. It also would reduce the maximum weeks of benefits from 26 to a sliding scale of between 12 and 20 weeks, depending on the unemployment rate.

Rep. Julia Howard, a senior Republican lawmaker from Mocksville and a bill sponsor, argued that passage of the bill is needed to curb benefits that have gotten out of whack and to make the state competitive in competing for industry. Read full story here.


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