McCrory misspeaks again? Governor says “we didn’t take away unemployment benefits”

North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory, in an interview aired yesterday on a Charlotte radio station, downplayed cuts to unemployment benefits caused by made this year to the state’ s unemployment insurance system.

“We didn’t take away unemployment benefits,” McCrory said on WFAE’s “Charlotte Talks” program in response to a question about cuts to the unemployment insurance system. “We didn’t extend them. We were following the existing policy.”

Audio clip from WFAE in Charlotte

The state, through legislation signed into law in February by McCrory, did cut both the length of time a person can collect unemployment (reduced from six months to a sliding scale of 12 to 20 weeks) and also cut the maximum weekly benefit from $535 to $350 a week.  The cuts were part of an extensive plan to repay more than $2.6 billion the state unemployment insurance system borrowed during the height of the recession.

The July 1 effective date of those reductions, in turn, made North Carolina the only state to turn down federal extended unemployment benefits, which the federal labor department estimated would have provided more than $700 million in help through the end of the year to 170,000 long-term unemployed workers.

Gov. McCrory

Gov. McCrory

“To say we didn’t reduce our core benefits, that’s not true,” said John Quinterno of the Chapel Hill-based South by North Strategies, which studies labor market issues, about McCrory’s comments. “There are cuts all over the place.”

McCrory spoke about the changes made in a law he signed earlier this year in an hour-long interview Monday with Mike Collins, the host of WFAE’s “Charlotte Talks” program. (Click here to listen to the entire interview). McCrory also discussed the decision to not expand Medicaid, a potential raise for teachers next year and his rocky relationship with the capital press corps, among other topics.

When asked by Collins about whether, his July delivery of a plate of cookies to abortion rights protestors outside the Governor’s Mansion was a good idea in hindsight, McCrory remarked he didn’t care.

“I don’t care, I felt like doing it,” he said. “Who cares?”

Calls to McCrory’s press office for clarification about his statements on the radio program were not immediately returned. This post will be updated when we hear back.

In the interview, McCrory also characterized the unemployment changes as a decision to not extend benefits beyond 90 weeks, a benefit that the state system never provided. The state system previously allowed for up to 26 weeks, or six months, with federal funds extending that amount of time during the recent economic recession.

“I made a decision, a very difficult decision with my colleagues to say we’re not going to extend unemployment beyond 90 weeks,” McCrory said. “We’re going to start paying off the principal of the loan.”

WFAE also noted in a post Monday afternoon that McCrory was wrong in Monday’s interview when he said that IBM and his former employer Duke Energy are no longer offering their employees health insurance because of the federal Affordable Care Act. Both companies are still providing health insurance to staff, but have changed the way retirees’ health insurance is handled.

 

Top Stories from NCPW

  • News
  • Commentary

WASHINGTON — The coronavirus pandemic has brought heartbreaking consequences for millions of U.S. ch [...]

Sheriffs and advocates remain opposed, but the party of Donald Trump is no longer a roadblock Video [...]

Student leaders at UNC-Chapel Hill are asking that money from a recently increased security fee go t [...]

The murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis in May of 2020 and the demonstrations that ensued in score [...]

An honest assessment of the disastrous U.S. experience in Afghanistan leads to some hard truths and [...]

There is, of course, nothing new about the idea that blood runs thick in politics. The list of promi [...]

The post North Carolina court blocks Voter ID law for discriminatory intent appeared first on NC Pol [...]

Vaccine refusal is a major reason COVID-19 infections continue to surge in the U.S. Safe and effecti [...]

A Clear and Present Danger

 

NC’s Tarheel Army Missile Plant is a toxic disgrace
Read the two-part story about the Army’s failure to clean up hazardous chemicals, which have contaminated a Black and Hispanic neighborhood for 30 years.

Read in English.


Haga clic aquí para leer: Peligro inminente
Una antigua planta de misiles del Ejército ha contaminado un vecindario negro y latino durante 30 años.

Leer en español.