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Pat McCrory 2Art Pope 3In a rather amazing response to the bad P.R. they’ve been receiving for their toughest-in-the-nation policies toward the poor and unemployed over the last several months, Gov. McCrory and his budget director, chain store magnate Art Pope, issued a pair of press releases today in an attempt to show what caring souls they are.

Unfortunately for both men, both statements come off as almost comically pathetic in their failure to appreciate the magnitude of the problem confronting people in need.

The Governor’s statement was probably the funniest: he announced that:

“approximately 6,700 pounds of fresh turnip greens harvested at the state prison farm at Caledonia Correctional Institution are being delivered to the Food Bank of Central & Eastern North Carolina.”

Gee thanks, Guv! That ought to take care of that pesky hunger problem!

Pope, meanwhile, Read More

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Pat McCrory 4Art popeAldona WosMore “you can’t make this stuff up” statements from the McCrory administration today — this time about the impact of the federal government shut-down on poor people in need of assistance.

At a made-for-the-media event at a food bank in Charlotte that also featured State Budget Director Art Pope and DHHS Secretary Aldona Wos, the Guv made a big show of his concern for the poor by publicly releasing a whopping $750,000 to food banks. McCrory also made this remarkable statement: Read More

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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
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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.

Read More

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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