NC JUSTICE NEWS: General Assembly Class of 2013 + Unemployment Proposal + #RebuildNC

January 8, 2013

UNEMPLOYMENT PROPOSAL: New changes presented today

This morning, the Revenue Laws Study Committee met at the North Carolina General Assembly, and examined the current proposal to reform the state’s unemployment insurance system. Early analysis of the proposal shows that it would slash benefits for thousands of workers by $600 to $700 million annually, while potentially cutting taxes for North Carolina employers.

Following the meeting, George Wentworth, senior attorney at the National Employment Law Project, offered a detailed explanation of the proposal currently being considered by North Carolina lawmakers. The proposal reduces both the maximum weekly benefit amount and maximum duration for receiving benefits. In addition, it would change the formula used to calculate benefits, and add an additional waiting week for benefits for workers who have lost their jobs through no fault of their own.

Although the proposal requires further analysis to determine its specific impact, it's already clear that these changes present a radical, unbalanced approach to the unemployment insurance system. Contrary to what has been said by some of our lawmakers, the proposed changes to our insurance system are dramatically out of line with our neighboring states, and would in fact move North Carolina toward the bottom of state rankings.

Unfortunately, it seems that our state leaders haven't learned from past mistakes. As it stands, the current proposal could result in a decimated unemployment insurance system that will leave North Carolina unprepared for another recession.

CLASS OF 2013: Meet NC's newest lawmakers

It's a new year and a new General Assembly for North Carolina, alongside Gov. Pat McCrory's new Cabinet at the Capitol.

Some faces on Jones Street will be quite familiar to North Carolinians, including new Secretary of Transportation Tony Tata and Budget Director Art Pope. Others will arrive on the scene with a bit of mystery about them. In an ongoing feature this session, N.C. Policy Watch will talk with some of the newest members of the N.C. General Assembly to offer a bit more insight on who they are and what they plan on doing this session in Raleigh. Reporter Sarah Ovaska interviewed State Rep. Charles Jeter, Jr. and Rep. Carl Ford this week.

North Carolina's national delegation will also see some changes. Last week, four new faces were sworn in at a hearing for 113th Congress as representatives of North Carolina. Richard Hudson (8th District), Robert Pittenger (9th District), Mark Meadows (11th District), and George Holding (13th District) will take the former spots of Reps. Larry Kissell, Sue Myrick, Heath Shuler, and Brad Miller.

Keep an eye on N.C. Policy Watch over the next few weeks for a chance to get to know your new state politicians.

REBUILD NC: Together NC's social media campaign to boost our state

In light of the inauspicious start to the New Year at the General Assembly — where proposals are already being considered that could be harmful to thousands of North Carolinians — Together NC is kicking off 2013 with a new social media campaign, urging the state’s newly elected legislators to help begin rebuilding North Carolina.

In the aptly named #RebuildNC campaign, Together NC will post on Twitter and Facebook about how North Carolina’s leaders must stop tearing down, underfunding, and underserving the state’s critical public investments.

The campaign — with tweets and Facebook posts in the form of graphics, educational links, and quizzes — will lead up to the official inaugural events this weekend. Take a few minutes over these next few days to follow Together NC’s activity, re-tweet and share content from the Together NC social media accounts on your organization’s pages and your personal pages.

It’s time North Carolina’s lawmakers stop tearing down public investments – and start building them up instead. Make a simple New Year’s resolution to help guide lawmakers back to policies that will help #RebuildNC.

BUILDING A BETTER NC EVENTS: Forum on economy, working families

North Carolina citizens can help write the next chapter in the story of our economy. Communities across the state will play host to a community conversation event entitled “Building a Stronger North Carolina,” led by staff from the Budget & Tax Center, a project of the NC Justice Center, and United Way of North Carolina. Through this interactive session, members of the community will have the opportunity to respond to critical questions regarding key legislation and learn about ways to get engaged in issues that will affect the future of the state.

They will discuss top issues in state public policy, including the impact of current economic conditions on working families, and how the state budget directly affected education, health care and financial stability. Presentations will be held in communities across the state.

  • Guilford and Forsyth County. January 9, 9:00 a.m. 8818 West Market St., Girl Scouts’ Carolinas Peaks2Piedmont Triad Service Center, Colfax
  • Wake County. January 10, 3:00 p.m. NCAE, 700 South Salisbury Street, Raleigh
  • Pitt County. January 15, 8:30 a.m. Greenville

More details are available at this link.


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