Earlier today the Revenue Laws Study Committee approved its proposed plan to reform North Carolina’s unemployment insurance system in order to more promptly re-pay the $2.4 billion it owes the federal government. The details per WRAL.com:
Under the proposal approved by the Revenue Laws Study Committee, a group of House and Senate lawmakers, the maximum weekly benefit for someone out of work would drop from $535 to $350. Also, the state would replace its 26 weeks of benefits with a cap of 13 to 20 weeks, based on the health of North Carolina’s economy.
If approved by the General Assembly, the proposed cuts would affect people who apply for unemployment benefits starting in July.
In addition to cutting benefits, lawmakers proposed raising unemployment insurance rates on businesses to accelerate repayment of the debt and ensure the unemployment trust fund remains solvent. About 20 percent of North Carolina employers have paid no unemployment insurance and would have to start contributing to the system under the proposal.
Under this proposal, the UI debt would be repaid by 2015, four years ahead of the currently scheduled repayment plan. Paying the debt off early will help the state avoid significant amounts of interest and avoid ever-climbing UI taxes on businesses (currently scheduled to reach $189 per worker above current levels).
The proposal will be taken up likely by a House or Senate Finance committee once the legislative session begins.