Senate minority leader Sen. Martin Nesbitt, Democrat from Buncombe County, is sticking to his promise to keep bringing up the fate of 37,000 North Carolinians whose weekly unemployment checks have ended because the extension of the benefits is caught up in the budget showdown between the General Assemblly and the governor.
He reported today that a petition to bring a benefits-extension bill to a floor vote has been signed by all 19 Democratic senators and none of the Republicans. Nesbitt said all of the GOP members of the Senate had been emailed last week and asked to sign, and that this week efforts would get more personal.
"I intend to continue to pursue that," Nesbitt told reporters. "I'm not going to tell you how right now. ... Hopefully, they will be hearing from the folks in their communities very shortly."
Earlier today, Senate leader Sen. Phil Berger repeated his position that the General Assembly has already passed a bill, which the governor vetoed.
"We think the question is, what has the governor done other than saying 'Do it my way. That's the only way I'll accept.'" Berger said he hopes the governor will tell legislators what she's looking for in a compromise.