Changes Proposed to Unemployment Benefits
Many people could end up paying more with the latest draft proposal to overhaul the state’s unemployment system and re-pay the federal government.
Tessie Bethel is a laid off custodian. Her unemployment runs out before Christmas. She gets 179-dollars a week.
Tessie Bethel: "I had to pay 85-dollars for an eye exam yesterday. It’s gone. I only have 40-dollars left for up until next Tuesday again. It doesn’t last."
The proposed plan includes cutting the maximum weekly benefit from 525-dollars to 350-dollars. That’s more in line with Virginia, Georgia and South Carolina. And the plan also makes it mandatory for governmental entities and non-profits to contribute to the unemployment system. David Heinen is with the North Carolina Center for Nonprofits.
David Heinen: "You know it’s not an enormous tax, but it’s a new tax on non-profits."
Republican Senator Bob Rucho chairs the Revenue Laws Study Committee. He says businesses will see a slight increase as well.
Bob Rucho: "An insolvent fund means nobody benefits from it and that’s something we can’t allow to happen."
Rucho says this plan would allow North Carolina to quickly re-pay the federal government the two-point-five billion dollars it borrowed to cover unemployment benefits during the recession.