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State Lawmakers At Odds Over Unemployment Benefits

State lawmakers have not come to an agreement over restoring unemployment benefits for 37 thousand people across the state.

Republican leaders in Raleigh say they plan to try to override the governor's veto of a bill that would have extended federal unemployment benefits. The governor vetoed the measure Saturday because it was tied to a provision that would've required her to cut next year's budget by 13 percent. Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger says he thinks the governor made a bad decision. 

Phil Berger: "You know we need to remember that we're talking about the extension for folks who've already received benefits for 77 weeks."

But Senate Minority Leader Martin Nesbitt says it's wrong to minimize the hardship on people whose checks will be cut off.

Martin Nesbitt: "You're getting behind on all your payments, there's not enough money there to make ends meet. And these are very desperate people."

Nesbitt says Democrats have a bill in committee that would restore unemployment benefits to those affected without strings attached. 

Jessica Jones covers both the legislature in Raleigh and politics across the state. Before her current assignment, Jessica was given the responsibility to open up WUNC's first Greensboro Bureau at the Triad Stage in 2009. She's a seasoned public radio reporter who's covered everything from education to immigration, and she's a regular contributor to NPR's news programs. Jessica started her career in journalism in Egypt, where she freelanced for international print and radio outlets. After stints in Washington, D.C. with Voice of America and NPR, Jessica joined the staff of WUNC in 1999. She is a graduate of Yale University.
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