RALEIGH: NC Democrats want long-term jobless aid revived - Local news, weather, sports Savannah | WSAV On Your Side

NC Democrats want long-term jobless aid revived

Posted: Updated:
RALEIGH, N.C. -

U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan said Monday she's pushing North Carolina to rejoin the rest of the states to help the long-term unemployed with emergency unemployment benefits. But Republican legislative leaders - including one who wants to unseat her this fall - argue she should have done more on the issue earlier.

Hagan held a news conference in Raleigh with Democratic state legislators, where they criticized North Carolina's General Assembly for actions that led to the elimination in July of extended federal emergency jobless benefits for as many as 170,000 families.

The payments ended because the state was disqualified from the program after the Republican-led General Assembly in early 2013 approved changes to the state's unemployment insurance system that reduced weekly benefits and the number of weeks that benefits could be received.

Meanwhile, the payments ran out nationwide Dec. 28, and the U.S. Senate planned to begin considering Tuesday a three-month extension of benefits that would affect an estimated 1.3 million people. Hagan introduced a provision last month that would make North Carolina eligible again for those benefits if they are reinstated nationwide.

"The General Assembly knowingly and willingly violated federal law, and I refuse to let the people of our state suffer because of their reckless actions," Hagan said in a written statement, adding "North Carolinians struggling to get by while looking for work should receive the same benefits as citizens in other states.

Senate leader Phil Berger, R-Rockingham, and House Speaker Thom Tillis, R-Mecklenburg, later Monday blamed Hagan for failing, in late 2012 during congressional budget and tax negotiations, to find a way to exempt North Carolina from losing those benefits when the legislature changed its unemployment insurance program a couple months later.

"If she truly cared about these North Carolinians, she would have done what the General Assembly called on her to do more than a year ago," Berger and Tillis said in a statement. "But she dropped the ball and is now desperately trying to spin her way out of the damage she created."

The unemployment benefit overhaul was designed in part to accelerate the repayment of more than $2 billion in benefit payments North Carolina owed the federal government from the Great Recession. General Assembly leaders say they had asked her to grandfather North Carolina, but it didn't happen.

The emergency benefit issue is an early-year conflict between Hagan, who is seeking re-election in November, and Tillis, one of at least five Republicans seeking the Senate GOP nomination in May.

  • PoliticsMore>>

  • Marijuana group celebrates 4/20 with new Raleigh chapter

    Marijuana group celebrates 4/20 with new Raleigh chapter

    Sunday, April 20 2014 11:27 PM EDT2014-04-21 03:27:43 GMT
    On this twentieth day of April, 4/20, some people in Raleigh are pushing for changes to the state's marijuana laws.The National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, or NORML, celebrated the unofficial weed holiday with some music in downtown Raleigh. The group re-opened a Raleigh chapter and it hopes to convince state lawmakers to follow the lead of Colorado and Washington in decriminalizing or even legalizing some pot possession.
    On this twentieth day of April, 4/20, some people in Raleigh are pushing for changes to the state's marijuana laws.The National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, or NORML, celebrated the unofficial weed holiday with some music in downtown Raleigh. The group re-opened a Raleigh chapter and it hopes to convince state lawmakers to follow the lead of Colorado and Washington in decriminalizing or even legalizing some pot possession.
  • McIntyre's retirement opens door for GOP in NC 7th

    McIntyre's retirement opens door for GOP in NC 7th

    Sunday, April 20 2014 12:33 PM EDT2014-04-20 16:33:02 GMT
    Democratic Rep. Mike McIntyre will retire after nine terms representing North Carolina's 7th Congressional district.Democratic Rep. Mike McIntyre will retire after nine terms representing North Carolina's 7th Congressional district.
    With McIntyre announcing his retirement after nine terms representing North Carolina's 7th Congressional district, Rouzer is back on the ballo.    
    With McIntyre announcing his retirement after nine terms representing North Carolina's 7th Congressional district, Rouzer is back on the ballo.    
  • Hagan contrasts persona, GOP in NC Senate campaign

    Hagan contrasts persona, GOP in NC Senate campaign

    Saturday, April 19 2014 11:51 AM EDT2014-04-19 15:51:50 GMT
    Kay Hagan's self-identification as a middle-of-the-road U.S. senator who fights for the middle class, among other groups, and responds effectively to constituent requests may sound trite coming from any politician's mouth seeking re-election.
    Kay Hagan's self-identification as a middle-of-the-road U.S. senator who fights for the middle class, among other groups, and responds effectively to constituent requests may sound trite coming from any politician's mouth seeking re-election.
  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Shooting at Waters Ave. and 38th Street in Savannah

    Shooting at Waters Ave. and 38th Street in Savannah

    Sunday, April 20 2014 1:43 PM EDT2014-04-20 17:43:34 GMT
    Savannah Chatham Metropolitan Police have the area of Waters Ave and 38th Street cornered off with crime scene tape. Around 12:45 p.m. police were called to the scene where they found a man in the street shot. The SCMPD Spokesman, Julian Miller, said the victim was in a white sedan when shots were fired from another car striking him. The white sedan came to a stop in a yard. The man was taken to the hospital. The victim's name has not been released yet or his condition. Police do not have a...
    Savannah Chatham Metropolitan Police have the area of Waters Ave and 38th Street cornered off with crime scene tape. Around 12:45 p.m. police were called to the scene where they found a man in the street shot. The SCMPD Spokesman, Julian Miller, said the victim was in a white sedan when shots were fired from another car striking him. The white sedan came to a stop in a yard. The man was taken to the hospital. The victim's name has not been released yet or his condition. Police do not have a...
  • April Mugshots

    April Mugshots

    Tuesday, April 15 2014 11:48 AM EDT2014-04-15 15:48:25 GMT
    James SiebenthalJames Siebenthal
    The following are mugshots and charges of individuals arrested between April 1-4 by the Sullivan County Sheriff's Office.
    The following are mugshots and charges of individuals arrested between April 1-4 by the Sullivan County Sheriff's Office.
  • SURVELLIANCE VIDEO: Runaway Horse in Downtown Savannah

    SURVELLIANCE VIDEO: Runaway Horse in Downtown Savannah

    Tuesday, April 15 2014 5:08 PM EDT2014-04-15 21:08:52 GMT
    WSAV has learned that a horse carriage was involved in an accident in downtown Savannah on Monday. A viewer tells News 3 that the horse went 'berserk' after the accident. Savannah Police have closed
    WSAV has learned that a horse carriage was involved in an accident in downtown Savannah on Monday.
Powered by WorldNow

1430 East Victory Drive
Savannah, GA 31404

Telephone: 912.651.0300
Fax: 912.651.0320
Email: newsemailalert@wsav.com

Can't find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.