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NC Senate votes to drop $300/week federal jobless benefit

The North Carolina Senate voted Wednesday to end the $300 weekly unemployment benefit supplement provided by the federal government.

If the legislation becomes law, North Carolina will join 25 other states that have opted out of the federal supplement.

"With a severe labor shortage, now is no time to pay people extra money not to work," Sen. Chuck Edwards said. "The pandemic is largely behind us, and our state shouldn't be stuck in mid-pandemic policies."

In addition to opting out of the federal supplement, the measure institutes stricter work-search requirements for those receiving unemployment benefits. Under the new rules, an unemployed person must accept a job if it pays at least 120 percent of the weekly unemployment benefit, respond to an interview offer within 48 hours and show up for the interview.

The bill also appropriates $250 million in child care assistance for eligible children.