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NC House gives initial OK to unemployment changes

By Associated Press
Published On: Feb 04 2013 09:44:26 PM CST

RALEIGH -

A solution to ridding North Carolina of its $2.6 billion in unemployment debt more quickly through lower benefits and higher taxes has received preliminary approval by the full House.
    
The chamber voted Monday night largely along party lines in favor of the measure after the Republican majority defeated several Democratic amendments designed to ease the burden of workers.
    
The measure would cause maximum weekly benefits to fall by one-third to $350 and scale back the maximum length of state benefits from 26 weeks to 20. Businesses would see federal unemployment insurance taxes going up until the debt is repaid in 2015. Some state taxes - but not all - would remain permanently higher.
    
A final House vote is expected Tuesday. The Senate and Gov. Pat McCrory also back the bill.