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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Some political activists want some state leaders to put their money where their mouth is. At a rally in Wilmington today the group said the governor and other Republican leaders should try to live on the amount they want the state to pay the unemployed.

The challenge comes after a bill filed in the legislature that would cut North Carolina unemployment benefits as much as 60 percent.

Action NC and its members are upset about the bill that cuts the maximum benefits paid to unemployed workers from $535 a week to $350. It would also reduce the maximum weeks of benefits from 26 to a sliding scale of between 12 and 20 weeks.

Action NC’s Kevin Rogers says these are drastic cuts for those who need the money to survive.

“The governor gave his cabinet secretaries huge pay raises so they could ‘afford to live.’ Governor, if your cabinet can’t afford to live on more than $120,000 a year, how the heck are the rest of us supposed to live on less than $15,000 a year?” Rogers said.

Protestor Patrick Varnam has his own challenge for Gov. McCrory and lawmakers who support the bill.

“I challenge them not for a week. Every one of them that voted for it, they need to freeze their assets,” Varnam said. “Make sure their buddies can’t give them no backdoor money and make them live on $350 a week for six months. They’ll lose everything they got.”

Among the group’s targets is Sen. Thom Goolsby. The New Hanover County Republican says the change is needed because of the state needs to repay $2.5 billion it borrowed from the federal government.

“I would ask the people to please read the law and see the condition that the Democrats left us in after not funding unemployment insurance adequately, and this has left us in a crisis in the state,” Goolsby said in a phone interview from Raleigh.

Goolsby says the cuts will help pay that debt off by 2015 instead of 2018.

The bill has passed through committee and is headed for the full Senate.

Comment on this Story

  • Rick Johnston

    I have been applying to about 25 to thirty jobs a week for 5 months. I normally make 27.00 an hour as maintenance mech.You must be overly secure in your job situation. the company I used to work for has lay-offs on average of about every 20 months I got laid off 5 times in 8 years. sure I could find a job no PROBLEMO! I just can’t keep this home and pay for food for 8 dollars an hour. I have never been fired and I have good skills and work background, I dont use any drugs I dont drink, smoke or miss work being sick. after looking at my job search history 650 job apps in five months getting an acceptable paying is about (100 times) more difficult than your imagination. we drive 9 year old cars – paid off. and can just barley scratch by if I collect 522.00 a week on unemployment. Hey cheer up I just got a JOB!! 15.00 dollars a hour 3rd shift a 1 hour drive from home. does it get any better? WAKE UP GENIOUS jobs that put people off unemployment put them near the poverty level of life. these new benefits are going to crush hard working good people and the economy wont benefit from it also. our politicians and legislators have crapped the bed on this one — watch and see.

  • helping others

    The $ given to you per week is not supposed to support you for the rest of your life. You are to take some RESPONSIBILITY and find a job. Yes, that’s right, FIND A JOB. ANY JOB. When you decide to take responsibility, REALLY take responsibility for your circumstances, you will then become powerful and become someone that produces for themselves and society.
    Whatever amount they decide to give, should ALWAYS have an ending point. Here’s a thought, $1,000 first week, $900 second week, $800 third week, $700 4th week, $600 5th week etc…until week 10 $100 and then THATS IT. NO more. You want incentive, that’s incentive, You want a deterrent, there it is. To reward people to NOT be productive is just plain STUPID!

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