Advocates respond to GOP proposal to hold unemployed hostage

(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, alexandra@ncjustice.org, (919) 861-1468; or (919) 801-0465; Jeff Shaw, Director of Communications, NC Justice Center, jeff@ncjustice.org(919) 863-2402 (office) (503) 551.3615 (mobile); MaryBe McMillan, 919-523-2835 (cell).  

7 Comments

  1. Rob Schofield

    April 13, 2011 at 3:19 pm

    You can watch relevant excerpt of Berger/Tillis press conference here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hCWrusJ6HyQ

  2. frances

    April 13, 2011 at 5:10 pm

    Would you consider it is the fault of the Governor ? Is she playing politics with trying to make the Republicans the fall guy for the loss of unemployment benefits? You have the wrong bad guy here.

  3. Rob Schofield

    April 13, 2011 at 9:36 pm

    The Guv doesn’t have to try and make the Repubs look bad. They’re doing a good job of that all by themselves. When they trotted out their position in the press room this morning, reporters could barely contain their laughter at the notion that R’s were doing it to avoid “playing politics.” Berger and Tillis don’t even really believe what they’re saying on this one.

  4. frances

    April 13, 2011 at 10:09 pm

    You are so tainted, you will never see the truth.

  5. frances

    April 14, 2011 at 7:51 am

    That is your job to make the Republicans look bad regardless of the truth. And you do it very well.

  6. UCubed

    April 14, 2011 at 12:42 pm

    what is the AFL-CIO of NC doing to organized North Carolina’s unemployed? A lot of us cant afford dues.

  7. frances

    April 14, 2011 at 12:45 pm

    The AFL-CIO is here to help with the Perdue for Governor Campaign.