June 25, 2013. More than 20 advocacy groups and nonprofits from across North Carolina are calling on Gov. McCrory and legislators to take action this week on behalf of the more than 70,000 out of work North Carolinians who are at risk of being pushed over the unemployment cliff on July 1.
The groups sent a letter to the Governor and North Carolina lawmakers this morning for the third consecutive week, asking them to reverse the damage done by House Bill 4, which cut North Carolina’s unemployment benefits beginning on July 1, 2013. After that date, individuals who are looking for work will be abruptly cut off from the benefits they rely on to pay their rents and mortgages and to feed their families. North Carolina will also become the only state in the U.S. to lose the Federal Emergency Unemployment Compensation Program (EUC), which is 100 percent funded and currently provides unemployment benefits to over 70,000 out of work North Carolinians who have exhausted their state benefits.
“This will almost certainly undermine any ongoing economic recovery efforts inNorth Carolina with hundreds of millions of dollars in benefits being lost,” the letter reads.
Such a catastrophe could be averted by delaying the state benefit cuts laid out in HB 4 until January 2014, the letter said. At a time when so many North Carolinians are struggling to find work, the loss of federal benefits through the end of the year will affect thousands of individuals and families across the state, as well as local businesses and retailers who need consumers to demand their goods and services.
“The decision to shut down federal EUC in North Carolina is without precedent nationally – both as a self-inflicted wound to the state’s economy and as an act of government callousness,” the letter reads. “Take action before July 1 to make sure North Carolina families are not pushed over the cliff that has been unnecessarily created by HB 4.”
The following groups signed on to the letter:
- · NC Justice Center
- · NC AFL-CIO
- · NC Council of Churches
- · AARP NC
- · NC NOW
- · NC Housing Coalition
- · Action NC
- · Southern Coalition for Social Justice
- · Reinvestment Partners
- · Children First/Communities in Schools of Buncombe County
- · Legal Services of Southern Piedmont
- · Gene Nichol, Boyd Tinsley Distinguished Professor, UNC School of Law
- · Disability Rights NC
- · Center for Death Penalty Litigation
- · NC WARN
- · Good Work NC
- · Immigrants and Allies United for Justice
- · Working America
- · NC Women United
- · Teamsters Local 391
- · NC NAACP
- · AAUW
- · Congregations for Social Justice
- · NC Association of Women Attorneys