It’s been a busy session for the new Republican dominated North Carolina government. Here’s some other folks’ rundowns on what’s been happening:
F to North Carolina’s leaders for pressing ahead with a plan to radically slash unemployment benefits.
The cuts mean the state can’t take advantage of long-term unemployment insurance supplied by the federal government. With a statewide unemployment rate still about 9 percent this is alarming.
“If enacted, the legislation also would cut off all federally funded Emergency Unemployment Compensation — that is, benefits after 26 weeks of unemployment — to 170,000 unemployed North Carolinians.
the state’s economy will lose $780 million in federal funds that are vital to reducing North Carolina’s high unemployment rate.”
The house passed a bill that will reduce the maximum benefit allowance from $500 to $350 per week. It will also cut the number of weeks an unemployed person can receive benefits from 26 weeks to 20.
North Carolina is already a right-to-work state. But legislators want to hold a referendum that would enshrine anti-union laws in the state constitution.
Yes, it’s back. Senate Bill 76 would allow gas drilling [“fracking”] permits to be issued as early as 2015. It also authorizes McCrory to form a compact with the governors of Virginia and South Carolina to advocate for offshore oil and gas drilling in federal waters, including sensitive areas off Cape Hatteras and Wrightsville Beach.
The Senate Rules Committee passed a bill on party lines Tuesday that fires every member of eight key boards and commissions. Once that dirty work is done, the bill states, the Republicans will replace them with their hand-picked substitutes.
That’s politics, you might say, but Sen. Bill Rabon’s bill goes far beyond routine politics. It’s one of the more blatant power grabs in state history, and would clear the way for unchecked ideological policymaking from commissions designed to be independent and non-ideological. It gets rid of public servants before their terms end and without regard to their expertise, experience or quality of service.