Amongst calls for increasing teacher pay and fully funding the Leandro plan to boost spending in public schools, Gov. Roy Cooper’s recently proposed budget also included a call to increase unemployment benefits, according to WRAL.
The increase would be the first in more than a decade, and the governor’s proposal added a $91 million change in how the state’s unemployment system is financed that’s meant to boost job training programs.
North Carolina was recently ranked one of the worst states for unemployment in the country, with an average weekly benefit of $236 and an average payout lasting about 20 weeks.
As it stands now, unemployment in North Carolina pays about half a person’s salary, with a cap at $350 a week; Cooper’s proposal increases that cap to $450 and would tie future increases to inflation. Additionally, Cooper would increase the minimum weekly benefit from $15 to $100, and would increase the number of weeks people receive unemployment.
Coope’rs proposed budget also included a tax cut for businesses, which pay into the unemployment trust fund to cover benefits. That rollback would be offset by a new “assessment” redirecting $91 million a year from the trust fund to a new fund paying for job training programs around the state.