State Jobless Insurance Fix Nears Final Passage

The Republican plan to eliminate more quickly the $2.5 billion North Carolina owes the federal government for unemployment benefits is now just one step away from Gov. Pat McCrory's desk and his likely signature after a vote in the state Senate.

Senators gave tentative approval Tuesday to the House measure that would require higher taxes on businesses but also cut maximum weekly benefits for the future unemployed by one-third. A final Senate vote is likely Wednesday before the bill goes to the new governor. McCrory had said he supports the bill.

The bill passed by a vote of 36-13. GOP legislators defeated several Democratic amendments, including one that would delay benefit changes until next January so federal extended emergency benefits could continue for 170,000 displaced workers.

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