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State Rep. Julia Howard — who, in fairness, occasionally bucks the conservative establishment in the North Carolina GOP — had this to say during a legislative hearing at the General Assembly yesterday on unemployment insurance as she expressed her frustration with the McCrory administration’s failure to implement a legislative directive:

““It’s the law,” she said. “Unless you repeal the law, we should be compliant.”

Hopefully, Rep. Howard is communicating this sentiment to her fellow conservative Republicans in Washington as they hold the nation hostage over a duly enacted and constitutional law.

Read more here: http://www.newsobserver.com/2013/10/02/3248307/gop-senator-urges-governor-to.html#storylink=cpy

As the state commerce department continues to incorporate massive changes to its unemployment system, questions came from legislators Wednesday about why Gov. Pat McCrory hasn’t assembled a board to review disputed unemployment cases

A three-member review board was created in 2011 by the legislature to serve as the final review board for unemployment insurance cases, where either employers or workers feel their cases weren’t handled fairly.

“The law was clear, that the governor is to make appointments,” said Sen. Bob Rucho, a Charlotte Republican, in a legislative oversight hearing Wednesday about unemployment.

But neither McCrory, a Republican, nor his Democratic predecessor Bev Perdue ever made those appointments.

McCrory’s press office  issued a written statement Wednesday afternoon saying that McCrory was reviewing the applications.

“The governor’s office is currently reviewing candidates and we will appoint the three members to the Unemployment Review Board,” McCrory spokesperson Ryan Tronovitch wrote in a written statement.

Tronovitch refused to answer questions about what was causing the delay, and when the appointments would be made.

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On June 30th, over 70,000 long-term unemployed workers were abruptly cut off from their unemployment benefits and North Carolina became the only state to lose out on 100% federally-funded emergency benefits.

This “unemployment cliff” was created due to the June 30th implementation date of massive and unprecedented cuts to the state-funded unemployment benefits.  These cuts ran afoul of federal rules for emergency benefits, which require that states maintain existing benefit levels as long as the emergency federal benefits are available. States that flout these rules are no longer eligible for the federally-funded benefits.

And so, on June 30th, 70,000 jobless workers in North Carolina lost the benefits on which they relied to pay their bills and feed their families. Another 100,000 or so will not receive the emergency benefits the federal government has offered through the end of the year.

There is a rumor floating about that there is no point in further discussing the effective date of the UI benefit cuts since HB4 has been passed and signed by the governor. In truth, there is still time for the legislature to act. Read More

Gov. Pat McCrory seems to be repeating his mistakes, at least when it comes to explaining how and why 70,000 North Carolinians were cut-off from federal unemployment benefits on July 1.

The Republican governor told a Wilson Times reporter Wednesday that Democratic President Barack Obama could have made an exception for North Carolina and prevented the July 1 cut off, a not-so-accurate take on the situation that the governor gave  to reporters two days prior. (This was the same interview where McCrory said he routinely mingles with Moral Monday protesters though there have not been any reported sightings of him at the high-profile events.)

The problem is, McCrory’s blame on federal officials for North Carolina’s decision to cut off benefits for 70,000 unemployed residents isn’t accurate (as my colleague Chris Fitzsimon pointed out in his weekly Friday Follies column). It’s also not the first time McCrory was corrected about his mistake, after he made similar comments at a press conference Monday and his spokesperson acknowledged those mistakes that day.

Here’s a more detailed breakdown of who said what, who reported what, and when. Read More

Pat McCrory 4Say what?!

Yesterday I had a conversation with Wilson Times reporter Janet Conner-Knox who read me a quote from Gov. McCrory that I simply could not believe I heard. This morning she reported it in this story. Here’s the excerpt:

“MORAL MONDAYS

McCrory said he has come out to hear what protesters are not happy about on the Moral Monday protests.

‘I go out in the crowd all of the time,’ McCrory said. ‘Frankly, yesterday I went out and talked to several of them and they were not very respectful. They did not represent the majority of those who call themselves moral by cussing me out. But that’s the way things go some times.’”

Got that? According to the Governor, he has been a regular attendee at Moral Mondays. Read More