House Speaker Thom Tillis announced last week the creation of a special commission to investigate fraud in the state’s unemployment insurance system.
It’s the latest indication Republicans want to make major changes to the way the state administers unemployment assistance.
Bill Rowe , General Counsel & Director of Advocacy for the N.C. Justice Center, says the data does not support widespread fraud in the system. And if lawmakers are intent on pursuing an investigation, he suggests they will also want to examine cases of employers defrauding the system, where taxes are not paid or employees are miscategorized as independent contractors.
Rowe believes the bigger issue is making sure the state unemployment insurance system, which owes more than $2.6 billion to the federal government, is funded properly and can provide benefits for the future.
As for cutting benefits or eligibility, Rowe says that would be “shortsighted” and would ultimately hurt local economies.
To hear a portion of Rowe’s weekend interview on News & Views with Chris Fitzsimon, click below. To hear the full interview, visit the radio interview  section of the N.C. Policy Watch website: