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Posted: 9:46 p.m. Monday, Feb. 4, 2013
RALEIGH, N.C. —
State lawmakers voted in Raleigh Monday to slash unemployment benefits for tens of thousands of people. Eyewitness News followed the debate for hours and the cuts are drastic. For families who depend on the paychecks, they could lose more than $700 a month now that this bill has cleared the House. Some Congressmen railed against the vote, telling others that it was simply too harsh on those who need the most help. Congressional officials drafted the plan to overhaul the state's unemployment program and help reduce the state's $2.6 million debt to the federal government. The plan would not only cut jobless benefits, but also raise unemployment taxes for businesses starting July 1. Republican supporters have said it will put North Carolina in line with benefits offered by other states. As it stands the bill with slash the maximum weekly payment from $535 to $350 and cut the amount of weeks applicants can receive benefits from 26 to 12-20. The head of the house finance committee told the floor that benefits should only help those out of work, not act as long term paycheck. Rep. Craig Horn from Union County said he was happy the bill passed because he was tired of the federal government spending state money.
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