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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:

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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.

House Speaker Thom Tillis reiterated Wednesday that his chamber would not be acting on legislation to restore jobless benefits to more than 37,000 North Carolinians until Governor Bev Perdue was willing to compromise.

Senate Minority Leader Martin Nesbitt says Republicans are continuing to try and force the governor to “take this sorry budget they’re pushing…. and swallow it whole.”

Nesbitt, who appears on News and Views this weekend, says the majority has the power to pass a “clean bill” in less than a day and help the long-term jobless, who are now facing heartbreaking decisions. The Buncombe County Democrat adds that the benefits issue should never have been tied to passage of the 2012 budget.

For a preview of Senator Nesbitt’s radio interview with Chris Fitzsimon, click below:

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