Berger: No plan to restore benefits for 37,000 jobless

Berger: No plan to restore benefits for 37,000 jobless

- in Legislative Watch

Senate GOP Leader Phil Berger said at his weekly press conference this morning that he has no immediate plan of how to deal with the 37,000 unemployed workers whose benefits were cut off on April 16.

“No movement on that, for now,” Berger said.

The long-term unemployed workers, most of whom have been looking for jobs for a year or more, had their extended benefits cut off April 16 when a bill that would have allowed the federal funds to flow through to the workers was derailed. GOP members had attached a rider that would have forced Gov. Bev Perdue agree to major budget cuts.

Perdue, a Democrat, vetoed the unemployment bill, saying it irresponsibly put the worker’s lives in the middle of a state budget dispute.

She’s said she’ll sign a clean bill, and Democrats in both the House and Senate are trying to move a clean bill forward in hopes that some of the GOP-majority will cross party lines and support the bill.

Berger said he’s waiting for the governor to propose a compromise before taking action to restore the benefits.

“I’d like to hear back from her,” Berger said.

About the author

Sarah Ovaska-Few, former Investigative Reporter for N.C. Policy Watch for five years, conducted investigations and watchdog reports into issues of statewide importance. Ovaska-Few was also staff writer and reporter for six years with the News & Observer in Raleigh, where she reported on governmental, legal, political and criminal justice issues.