The U.S. Senate bill that would extend emergency jobless benefits another three months also would allow North Carolina workers to receive such assistance again.
The bill passed an early hurdle Tuesday to revive the expired federal benefits nationwide. But it also contains a provision to let North Carolina again participate in that program after being terminated in July when the General Assembly scaled back benefits for the state unemployment benefit program.
U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan helped insert the new provision. North Carolina government wouldn't have to change its new benefit structure to re-enter the voluntary program. The federal government pays the emergency benefits.
North Carolina had been the only state without the benefits - a move the U.S. Labor Department said last year would affect 170,000 people.