The Employment Security Commission is getting ready to disburse this week retroactive federal unemployment benefits to about 47,000 citizens in North Carolina. That is based on Governor Perdue’s executive order signed last week. Republican leaders in the General Assembly said they were told by counsels and staff Perdue didn’t have that authority.
Today Perdue fired another shot across the bow with this statement released:
“The Governor’s legal authority to restore these benefits is clearly set forth in the Executive Order. It would have been better if the legislature had done the right thing and sent me a bill that would extend these benefits as I repeatedly requested. But they repeatedly refused. So I ultimately found a way to do this myself. I am confident I have the legal authority to extend the benefits under the powers referenced in the Executive Order. But given that the Governor’s Constitutional authority has not previously been used to extend federal unemployment benefits, and given the demonstrated willingness of the Republican leaders in the legislature to use unemployed workers as political pawns, I will not be surprised if they try to stop these benefits from reaching unemployed North Carolinians.”
House Speaker Thom Tillis (R-Mecklenburg) said last week there was no decision to challenge the order. A spokesperson for Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger (R-Rockingham) said today she had not heard of any plans to challenge Perdue.