Statement from NC State AFL-CIO and NC Justice Center on state Senators' failure to save $780 million in federal unemployment benefits

Workers and the economy will fall off the “unemployment cliff” when benefits expire on July 1

RALEIGH (June 12, 2013)  — The North Carolina State AFL-CIO and North Carolina Justice Center are extremely disappointed that the state Senate again turned its back on the long-term unemployed by refusing to take action to save federal emergency benefits.

Early in the session, the legislature passed and Governor McCrory signed House Bill 4 knowing that it violated a federal agreement on Emergency Unemployment Compensation, which means that, from July 1 through the end of this year, up to 170,000 North Carolinians will lose access to $780 million in federal extended benefits. This afternoon, a callous majority of senators tabled an amendment to House Bill 743 – not even allowing it to be voted on – that would have saved those benefits by changing the effective date of the new law from July 1 to January 1, 2014.

It is still not too late. We urge legislators to take action before the end of the month to save these benefits. Tens of thousands of North Carolinians are waiting and watching to see if their legislature will do the right thing.

FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT: Jeremy Sprinkle, Communications Director,, 919-833-6678; Bill Rowe, Director of Advocacy, NC Justice Center,, 919-649-6766 (cell).