If you were laid off through no fault of your own, could you cover your rent or mortgage payment + utilities + food/travel expenses on $350 a week?
Community leaders and advocates for the unemployed are calling on Gov. Pat McCrory and other legislators to try to live for one week on just $350 – the proposed maximum weekly jobless benefit that lawmakers are considering this session.
Rep. Julia Howard  wants the proposed legislation to reduce the weekly benefit amount and the duration of those UI benefits to take effect in July, to expedite the repayment of $2.4 billion owed to the federal government.
But Bill Rowe with the NC Justice Center says fast-tracking the proposed changes (and the bill’s effective start date) would also mean an end to federally extended emergency jobless benefits, which were included in the recent deal to avert the fiscal cliff.
Rowe says a hasty decision by elected-officials would mean 80,000 North Carolinians lose federal jobless benefits, removing $25 million a week from the state’s economy.
For highlights from Monday’s press event outside the Old State Capitol in Raleigh, click below.