Jobless Benefits Tied to Budget Fight

Apr 14, 2011

Republican and Democratic leaders are playing hard-ball with the state budget.  And extended unemployment benefits seem to be the latest pawn.

Republicans are tying additional unemployment benefits for 37-thousand people to a provision that would have state government operate at lower funding levels if a budget is not approved by June 30th.  Governor Bev Perdue calls the legislation “extortion.”  House Speaker Thom Tillis.

Thom Tillis:  "Ideally what she’ll do is take seriously our budget proposal which will come to her the first week of June and sign it."

The Republican-sponsored bill includes language saying state government would operate for up to a year at 87-percent of Perdue’s proposed budget if a deal isn’t reached in time. The legislation has moved quickly through the house and senate. The state’s extended unemployment benefits program ends Saturday.