North Carolina legislators have agreed to cut benefits to future jobless workers in a bill supporters say will help the state repay its $2.5 billion unemployment insurance debt to the federal government more quickly.
The Senate voted 36-12 on Wednesday in favor of the changes to the state unemployment insurance system that also include higher business taxes. The House already approved the measure that now goes to new Gov. Pat McCrory, who supports the bill.
The state's business community spearheaded the effort with Republican legislators to overhaul the system they say is discouraging companies from creating jobs or moving into the state. Democrats and labor groups say the bill is imbalanced against workers. Maximum weekly benefits would fall from $535 to $350.