(Cross-posted from Legislative Watch)
Riders on unemployment bill play politics with workers’ lives, observers say
Instead of addressing the real issue, benefits for unemployed workers, new additions to a house bill would merely serve to distract
RALEIGH (April 13, 2011) – With North Carolina still in the throes of an unemployment crisis, leaders should focus on creating jobs and preserving support for unemployed workers.
Unfortunately, new riders on a bill that would extend unemployment benefits for jobless workers are a dangerous distraction from the real issue, observers said this afternoon.
“Tens of thousands of North Carolinians rely on these benefits for basic necessities, and local economies throughout our state are stronger because of it,” said Alexandra Forter Sirota. “That’s the critical issue for North Carolina, and we should avoid distractions from that key goal.”
House Bill 383 would extend unemployment benefits – but riders just added to the bill would only authorize the Governor to continue expenditures for the 2011-2012 fiscal year at 87 percent of that specified in the 2011-2013 Governor’s Recommended Budget if the General Assembly fails to pass a budget by the end of the fiscal year July 1, 2011.
This would create another effective 13 percent cut above and beyond the existing cuts proposed in the Governor’s budget. Placing such a controversial rider in the bill would play politics with the lives of vulnerable North Carolina families.
“Playing politics with unemployed workers’ lives is unacceptable,” said MaryBe McMillan, Secretary-Treasurer of the North Carolina State AFL-CIO. “We should be creating opportunities for jobless workers, not seeking every opportunity to advance a narrow political agenda.”
For more information, contact: Alexandra Forter Sirota, firstname.lastname@example.org, (919) 861-1468; or (919) 801-0465; Jeff Shaw, Director of Communications, NC Justice Center, email@example.com, (919) 863-2402 (office) (503) 551.3615 (mobile); MaryBe McMillan, 919-523-2835 (cell).