NC has billions in unemployment reserves, Sen. Berger says

Coronavirus

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – Gov. Roy Cooper’s executive order scheduled to be released Tuesday will include expansion of unemployment benefits for those affected by COVID-19.

Senate President Pro Temp Phil Berger (R-Rockingham) said the state has $3.8 billion in reserves for unemployment – one of the largest reserves in the country.

“Reforms put in place years ago helped build that large balance to allow the state to adjust its benefits program in response to an economic downturn,” Berger said.

While the details of Cooper’s executive order were not immediately available, Berger said North Carolinians affected by COVID-19 will have assistance – whether it be federal or state.

“What adjustments to the state program might be necessary will become clearer once we have more finality on what the federal program will look like. But we have a multibillion surplus for times like this,” Berger said.

House Speaker Tim Moore (R) said the state is well-prepared to help those who have lost income due to a disaster.

“The General Assembly changed state law in 2017 to ensure applicants for benefits paid during federal disaster declarations are not required to wait a week or show a job search if unemployed due directly to an event covered by a federal disaster declaration.” – Office of Speaker Tim Moore

North Carolina also has a $1.1 billion savings reserve, a $74 million Disaster Relief Fund, and $186 million in Medicaid contingency reserves.

Cooper (D) is scheduled to hold a press conference at 2 p.m. on Tuesday concerning his executive order.

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