NC legislative leaders urge Gov. Cooper to accept Trump’s unemployment benefits offer

North Carolina news

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — Legislative leaders in North Carolina are urging Gov. Roy Cooper to prepare to add to President Trump’s offer of $300 in unemployment benefits.

Per Trump, the federal government will fund $300 if states chip in with $100 bringing the total to $400 for eligible recipients.

Sen. Phil Berger and House Speaker Tim Moore urged Cooper to not let opposition to Trump stand in the way of issuing unemployment insurance.

The two legislative leaders announced Tuesday their intentions to accept Trump’s offer and say the state can afford the proposal due to “smart budgeting decisions”. The expiration of the $600 weekly federal benefit makes the current supplemental benefit $0.

In a joint statement, Berger and Moore said, “Because of smart budgeting decisions, North Carolina is one of the best-prepared states in the country to handle this recession. We have $2.9 billion in the Unemployment Trust Fund and $552 million in unencumbered CARES Act funding, so we can afford to accept President Trump’s offer while liberal states with oppressive tax-and-spend policies, like New York, cannot.”

To move forward, the governor must submit what’s called a 424 application to FEMA.

Once that is done and the state obtains other necessary approvals, the state Division of Employment Security may begin adding the $300 supplement to eligible unemployment claims retroactive to August 1.

The legislature will vote in early September to appropriate any additional funds to cover the 25% state match.

The 25% state match is the statutory match required in the Stafford Act, which governs disaster assistance.

Leaders say the supplement will not put hurricane recovery funds at risk, though Cooper disagrees.

Read the full letter here.

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