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Berger: Fix for the unemployed not coming until July

The  42,000 to 45,000 North Carolinians cut off from  their extended unemployment benefits since April 16 will have to wait longer, if GOP Senate Leader Phil Berger’s move to fix the stalemate is hinged to the state budget process.

Berger, in a press conference this morning, said the restoring the benefits (which are funded solely through federal sources) would have to wait and become part of the new state budget, which is supposed to take effect on July 1 if it manages to pass it time.

“Whenever it is approved, it will be retroactive,” he said.

But that comes as thousands of the jobless are juggling the sudden lack of money coming in, and are facing evictions, foreclosures or going without food, medicine and electricity. (Go here to see an update on a Charlotte woman who is facing eviction, or go to www.ncpolicywatch.com/jobless for all of our coverage on the standoff.)

The state legislature initially had to approve a formula change in April in order to keep the benefits continuing to flow to workers, a routine measure that would normally take up a day’s time and many states passed without any problems.  But instead of doing that, GOP leaders in the legislator linked the approval to the state budget and would have forced Gov. Bev Perdue to agree to a budget with deep cuts to education and other state agencies. Perdue vetoed the measure, saying that it irresponsibly put the lives of the jobless in the middle of a political fight over the state budget.

Today, Berger again tried to shift blame to Perdue, a Democrat, when he responded to questions from reporters about why GOP legislators had worked out a recent compromise on the State Health Plan, and not done the same with  restoring the unemployment benefits.

“It’s different because we were able to engage in some level of dialogue in terms of a compromise and we just don’t see where that’s materialized on this issue,” Berger said.

Perdue has repeatedly said she’ll sign a clean bill if she’s given one. Her office is expected to respond to Berger’s comments later today.

Democrats in both the House and Senate have tried to move forward clean bills, but haven’t been able to convince enough Republicans to join them.

 

13 Comments

  1. Jason

    May 24, 2011 at 11:49 am

    ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!!! I am past being angry with the gop,i have been looking for work but i can’t afford the gas to go out and look and network. I am about to exhaust my savings. I am praying for a change for myself and the other 45,000 people who ate being held hostage by this childish ploy they are using as leverage.

  2. lisa ruffin

    May 24, 2011 at 1:22 pm

    Well yall they are not going to give us our employment just let be

  3. Jason

    May 24, 2011 at 1:25 pm

    Yeah Lisa I am starting to realize that,it just felt good to vent!!!

  4. JeffS

    May 24, 2011 at 2:48 pm

    I’m curious… is anyone vilifying Perdue over this? It seems to me that their strategy has backfired – but maybe I’m just not hearing their spin.

  5. sharon e. sanders

    May 24, 2011 at 3:30 pm

    Currently 45,000 are pending unemployment benefits, GOP needs to realize citizens pay into FUTA for times of unemployment. How would the GOP and the governor feel if they could not pay their monthly bills and have money for food and gas for their cArs! Please stop the standoff and think about the hurting citizens. we need your teamwork for sustaining the citizens of north carolina!

  6. Joe

    May 24, 2011 at 3:54 pm

    Too bad my debt collectors won’t buy the excuse that my already late April & May payments will be made in July as my only source of income will be made retroactive sometime that month God willing. I read that this is the first time in 100+ years that the GOP/Republicans controlled the legislature of our beautiful state…and look at the consequences and their actions over this issue. Instead of a simple fix that many other states have done, they attached it to a bill that had no relationship to the purpose to try to achieve a republican campaign promise of cutting STATE spending….STATE budget cuts by double digit% combined with upgrading a formula for FEDERAL funds so the the checks continued? Not sure who’s grand idea or which political think tank thought up the grand idea, but in my neck of the woods, the plan backfired.

    I am an Independent voter/thinker and socially walk the middle of the road. In my opinion, Bev had no choice to veto that. Yes for my personal situation, a signature would have saved another hit to my credit rating and my sanity. However a cut in education jobs and other jobs, or any STATE paid job for that matter, just so that I got my federally funded check didn’t make sense to me either.

    Berger, you can attempt to spin this onto Bev if you’d like to try, but you’re ultimately grouping apples and oranges in your proposal for extensions formula fix attached to state budget cuts and you know it! Extensions are paid with federal funds! You’d think the NC GOP would want to tread lightly this close to 2012 elections and NC being a swing state in 2008 for Obama.

    Maybe if the 45000+ people, combined with their families, spouses and friends who all hear their sorrows and frustrations at the NC GOP can pool together come November 2012, we can let Berger and Thomas and other state republican legislators know what unemployment feels like. All we’d have to do is first and foremost, register to vote and secondly actually vote. And third, we’d all need to tell our story, how the NCGOP chose to leave us out to dry, while they sat pretty in their gated communities. Then, come 2012, when the NCGOP puts out marketing ads suggesting family values, the people of NC will know which family they are really focused on…tHEIRS.

    May G-d Bless all the people and families struggling!

  7. Joe

    May 24, 2011 at 4:12 pm

    Too bad my debt collectors won’t buy the excuse that my already late April & May payments will be made in July as my only source of income will be made retroactive sometime that month God willing. I read that this is the first time in 100+ years that the GOP/Republicans controlled the legislature of our beautiful state…and look at the consequences and their actions over this issue.

    Instead of a simple fix that many other states have done, they attached it to a bill that had no relationship to the purpose to try to achieve a republican campaign promise of cutting STATE spending….STATE budget cuts by double digit% combined with upgrading a formula for FEDERAL funds so the the checks continued? Not sure who’s grand idea or which political think tank thought up the grand idea, but in my neck of the woods, the plan backfired.

    I am an Independent voter/thinker and socially walk the middle of the road. In my opinion, Bev had no choice to veto that. Yes for my personal situation, a signature would have saved another hit to my credit rating and my sanity. However a cut in education jobs and other jobs, or any STATE paid job for that matter, just so that I got my federally funded check didn’t make sense to me either.

    Berger, you can attempt to spin this onto Bev if you’d like to try, but you’re ultimately grouping apples and oranges in your proposal for extensions formula fix attached to state budget cuts and you know it! Extensions are paid with federal funds! You’d think the NC GOP would want to tread lightly this close to 2012 elections and NC being a swing state in 2008 for Obama.

    Maybe if the 45000+ people, combined with their families, spouses and friends who all hear their sorrows and frustrations at the NC GOP can pool together come November 2012, we can let Phil Berger and Thom Tillis and other state republican legislators know what unemployment feels like. All we’d have to do is first and foremost, register to vote and secondly actually vote. And third, we’d all need to tell our story, how the NCGOP chose to leave us out to dry, while they sat pretty in their gated communities.

    Then, come 2012, when the NCGOP puts out marketing ads suggesting family values, the people of NC will know which family they are really focused on…tHEIRS.

    May G-d Bless all the people and families struggling!

  8. Patricia Evans

    May 24, 2011 at 9:12 pm

    This is really frustrating. I have never been in a place like this before. I have put in over 200 job applications & no job yet. Its a simple solution that was turned into a power struggle. I am not lazy: I have a Masters Degree & I worked very hard as a single mother raising 3 sons until I got laid off. I am now lookn for jobs on line & in other states but without $ its hard…this morning my car tore up & how do I job search without one? Even when it was fixed I didn’t have gas $ to get around….I pray that Berger, Tillis, & the other repubicans ever get in this place. I pray that you treat us with compassion & that no one ever play games with you. Remember things can change in a minute…you can be on top today & tomorrow unsure….come live in my shoes for 2 hours & you would run & send a clean bill to be signed. My fate may not mean anything to you all but I believe the people that voted for you probably thought you had their best interest at heart. I’m pretty sure some of them are scratching their heads wondering why you lied @ caring for the people. To all of you who supported these guys I hope at election time you realize that they didn’t support you. I continue to pray daily for each family impacted by this drama.

  9. Jim

    May 24, 2011 at 9:24 pm

    I agree, even though I’m just as mad, and hurt, I can’t blame Beverly anymore because they are trying to pimp her.
    I’m just mad at rich old white men still using hate as a weapon.
    They can’t do anything else but what they know… Hate on people
    Name something they do better than any other race,,, other than politics and acting?
    I rest my case.

  10. Ralph

    May 24, 2011 at 9:56 pm

    I am baffled with how NC is going about there business. I am relocating soon and will be in a better place. I have worked my ass off and I dont deserve to loose what I have because of the local government Bullshit. Get this together and do it quickly cause Im not trying to battle with this issue anymore

  11. Jim

    May 24, 2011 at 10:21 pm

    It is what it is. If you need your government , they look at you like you weak. Cause you aint rich, we don’t care. Ha.
    And the gansta shit is that they do it in yo face. You stuck in a flood of water, well be their in a week, unless you in FL, got peeps there.
    Ha
    You homeless and need medical insurance, can’t help ya, .. But I got billions to spend on wars cause they got a guy real bad in a hole and another one who funded the 911 thang. You know, dem guys wit box cutters and stuff. Ha ha.
    They brought our country to it’s knees wit 2 dollar box cutters and we spend billions
    They take a man out a hole and charge him for something he did in the early 80’s , and we spend billions.
    Ha.
    And jersey shore fools get rich. You gotta love america.
    Ha. But we broke nc so, deal wit it
    Now I see why up north people laugh at y’all. I should have stayed a damn Yankee

  12. feefee

    May 25, 2011 at 3:43 pm

    I am one of thosse 45000 a single mother of three kids who has no savings or anything else. Soon my lights, water, and I will be evicted by that time. Me and kids have nowhere to go does anyone care!!! How do you’ll sleep at night knowing their are thousands of people that have nothing who has depended on these funds to make ends meet this is crazy it’s not the Governor it seems like Senator Beber has the problem with making sure this bill gets passed! How would you feel if one of your kids had no food or lights and was worried where their going to stay in the next week or so!!! WE NEED HELP PLEASE NOBODY HELP US WERE BEING WITHOUT ALMOST TWO MONTHS NOW!!!!

  13. headok

    May 26, 2011 at 3:25 pm

    ‘I’ve finally figured it out’…….. THEY DON’T CARE!!!!!! THEY REALLY DON’T F*****G CARE!!!!!!!