RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — A vote Wednesday in the North Carolina Senate saw lawmakers pass a bill that would withdraw the state from the $300-a-week federal unemployment boost.
Senate Bill 116, would withdraw North Carolina from the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation agreement. It would end the additional $300 weekly federal unemployment benefit 30 days after becoming law.
If it becomes law, North Carolina will join 25 other states that have opted out of the federal supplement.
“With a severe labor shortage, now is no time to pay people extra money not to work. The pandemic is largely behind us, and our state shouldn’t be stuck in mid-pandemic policies,” said Sen. Chuck Edwards (R-Henderson).
In addition to opting out of the federal supplement, the measure institutes stricter work-search requirements for those receiving unemployment benefits.
Under the new rules, an unemployed person must accept a job if it pays at least 120 percent of the weekly unemployment benefit, respond to an interview offer within 48 hours, and show up to the interview.
The bill also appropriates $250 million in child-care assistance for eligible children.
Under the American Rescue Plan, which Congress passed earlier this year, the additional unemployment payments are scheduled to last until September.
As of June 3, the Division of Employment Security said there are about 240,000 people currently receiving weekly unemployment benefits in North Carolina.