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Submitted by Chris Phillips on Thu, 01/24/2013 - 10:29pm.

RALEIGH, NC (AP) -- A North Carolina state legislator steering an unemployment insurance overhaul bill says the proposal would take effect in July, even though federal emergency jobless benefits for tens of thousands of people could be curtailed in the process. Republican Rep. Julia Howard said Thursday legislation considered next week in the House Finance Committee would reduce maximum state unemployment benefit levels starting this summer. The starting date is important because the federal law averting the fiscal cliff this month gave states federally-paid emergency benefits for another year so long as benefit rules weren't changed. Howard says delaying until next January would cost state businesses $400 million more to repay $2.5 billion they owe the federal government. (Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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