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Perdue signs order to restore unemployment benefits

Gov. Beverly Perdue said today that she has signed an executive order to allow federal unemployment insurance benefits to be restored to some 47,000 North Carolinians.

The benefits went away when Perdue in April vetoed legislation that would have kept the checks flowing. But Perdue, a Democrat, did not like the double-digit budget cut that Republicans had included in the legislation.

“For weeks, I have been trying to work with the Republican legislative leaders to get them to do the right thing: send me a clean bill to extend the unemployment benefits for 47,000 North Carolinians who have lost their jobs,” Perude said in a statement. “But instead of acting responsibly on this matter, the Republican legislature has repeatedly refused to send me such a bill. Meanwhile, thousands of North Carolina families are running out of money and options.

“North Carolina cannot wait any longer for the legislature to do what they should have done more than a month ago.”

Senate President Pro Tempore Phil Berger, a Republican, in statement called Perdue’s actions a “questionable legal gimmick.”

“We have directed our nonpartisan staff to study whether the governor’s act is legal,” he said. “If she really thinks this is appropriate, she shamefully did nothing for seven weeks.

“Make no mistake: We want these citizens to get their benefits. That’s why we’ve voted twice to restore them.”

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