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Business & Economy

Changes Proposed to Unemployment Benefits

Many people could end up paying more with the latest draft proposal to overhaul the state’s unemployment system and re-pay the federal government. 

Tessie Bethel is a laid off custodian.   Her unemployment runs out before Christmas.  She gets 179-dollars a week.

Tessie Bethel:  "I had to pay 85-dollars for an eye exam yesterday.  It’s gone. I only have 40-dollars left for up until next Tuesday again. It  doesn’t last."

The proposed plan includes cutting the maximum weekly benefit from 525-dollars to 350-dollars.  That’s more in line with Virginia, Georgia and South Carolina. And the plan also makes it mandatory for governmental entities and non-profits to contribute to the unemployment system.  David Heinen is with the North Carolina Center for Nonprofits. 

David Heinen:  "You know it’s not an enormous tax, but it’s a new tax on non-profits."

Republican Senator Bob Rucho chairs the Revenue Laws Study Committee.  He says businesses will see a slight increase as well.

Bob Rucho:  "An insolvent fund means nobody benefits from it and that’s something we can’t allow to happen."

Rucho says this plan would allow North Carolina to quickly re-pay the federal government the two-point-five billion dollars it borrowed to cover unemployment benefits during the recession.

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