RALEIGH -- The decision of North Carolina lawmakers to cut the amount and length of state unemployment benefits is taking effect, and that means about 170,000 long-term jobless are losing their last checks.
The benefit cuts take effect on Sunday. The reduced benefits and smaller increases in business taxes are the state's cure for repaying Washington $2.5 billion borrowed to pay state unemployment claims that exploded during the recession. The reduced state benefits have the effect of making North Carolina the first to cut off a federal unemployment compensation program for the long-term jobless.
The plan's supporters say it'll save businesses more than $400 million by paying back the billions three years early. Opponents say Republican lawmakers and Gov. Pat McCrory should have waited until January, after the federal benefits expire.
Other New Laws Starting July 1st through January 2014
The Associated Press