State Senate Considering Unemployment Benefit Cuts

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It looks like the state Senate has no plans to slow down a proposal that attempts to solve North Carolina's unemployment debt problem more quickly through higher taxes and cuts to jobless worker benefits.

The Senate Finance Committee was expected Wednesday to consider a House bill approved Tuesday that accelerates payment of $2.6 billion owed the federal government and gives the state a $2 billion-plus cushion for future jobless claims.

The measure would cut maximum weekly benefits by one-third to $350 and reduce the maximum number of benefit weeks. Worker advocates have been unsuccessful to date to delay the proposal and lessen its blow upon the unemployed.

Senate committee co-chairman Bob Rucho says the bill could reach the Senate floor later this week. Gov. Pat McCrory supports the bill, too.