Gov. Pat McCrory has signed into law changes to North Carolina's unemployment insurance system that supporters say will put the plan on firmer footing.
Critics say the changes will devastate the jobless with decreased benefits or none at all.
The Republican governor signed the bill Tuesday morning in his office as several legislators watched. The media was not invited to the signing.
The governor says the goal is to pay back the state's $2.5 billion unemployment debt owed to the federal government more quickly. He's doing so by cutting maximum weekly jobless payments by one-third, from $535 to $350. It also cuts the maximum number of weeks you can draw unemployment from 26 weeks down to 12 to 20 weeks, based on the unemployment rate.
For business owners, the new law also raises unemployment taxes. Federal emergency jobless benefits also will stop July 1, when the bill takes effect.
McCrory says the bill will protect small businesses from continued over-taxation and preserve the unemployment safety net.
Business owners can find out about how much more you'll pay in unemployment taxes by clicking here.
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