Archives

Christy Zemcik spoke to us a few weeks ago about her struggle to stay afloat after the extended unemployment benefits she depended on her were held up by GOP members of the state legislature on April 16.

When we first talked with her, Zemcik, a 41-year-old former teacher and assistant in a doctor’s office, had gotten served with an eviction notice and was waiting for her power to be shut off.

Now, 37 days into the impasse, nearly all of Zemcik’s furniture is being auctioned off and she’s waiting for a sheriff’s deputy to come to  lock her out of her Charlotte apartment anyday.

“There are times when I feel like I can barely pick myself off the floor,” she said.

Read More

It’s been a bit tough to get an exact count of how many North Carolinians have been swept up in the standoff between GOP members of the state legislature and N.C. Gov. Bev Perdue about the state budget.

Yesterday, we ran this post about how the maximum number of jobless people going without their extended benefits could be up to 45,400, up from the 37,000 that initially caught up in the stalemate that began April 16.

Then, NC ESC Deputy Chairman David Clegg told the Associated Press later that afternoon the figure was 42,000 after a press conference was held by N.C. House and Senate Democrats.

Both figures are right, said ESC spokesman Larry Parker. The agency doesn’t have a firm head count of how many people are being affected, but estimate it’s somewhere between 42,000 and 45,000.

Each week that goes by, those numbers will go up by about 2,000, he said.

Saturday will mark the fifth week since the stalemate began.

Senator Josh Stein says it is ‘callous to the first degree’ for Republicans to continue to the impasse over an extension of federal jobless benefits, demanding first a compromise from Governor Bev Perdue.

The Democratic Whip acknowledges that thousands of additional North Carolinians are now  being affected by this stalemate, not just the 37,000 individuals initially reported.

“They have been doing everything to find work, and they can’t,” said Stein. “Yet they still have mortgage payments, or rent payments, and car payments.”

Stein says this issue is unrelated to the state budget, and there is no middle ground where the governor can compromise.

The Wake County Senator believes the General Assembly could pass the bill in less than a day, if Republican leaders in the majority would allow it to move forward. For a preview of Sen. Stein’s weekend radio interview with Chris Fitzsimon, click below:

YouTube Preview Image

The number of unemployed North Carolinians who had their benefits suddenly cut off when their  federally-funded benefits were held up by GOP state legislators has grown.

As many as 45,400 may be affected, according to rough estimates provided by N.C. Employment Security Commission spokesman Larry Parker

Read More

Are you one of the 37,000 jobless North Carolinians that had benefits stopped because of a fight over the state budget? Live near Charlotte and want to say something about it?

Well, you can on Monday.

The N.C. Justice Center, the parent organization for those of here at N.C. Policy Watch, and the N.C. AFL-CIO are organizing a rally late Monday morning in Charlotte to highlight the plight of the 37,000 North Carolinians that have been without their unemployment benefits since April 16.
Here’s some of the basic details:

WHO: Unemployed workers, AFL-CIO and NC Justice Center
WHAT: Press conference backing extension of unemployment benefits
WHEN: Monday, May 16, 11:30 a.m.
WHERE: At a Charlotte, NC Employment Security Commission Office:
5601 Executive Center Drive, Suite 100
Charlotte, NC 28212
People being affected are asked to show up, if they’re able, and have a chance to talk about their situation. More information about the rally/press conference available here.