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Jobless Benefits Battle

Updated: Monday, February 4 2013, 07:48 PM EST
Activists hit the streets of Asheville today, asking Governor Pat McCrory and state lawmakers to put their money where their mouth is.

They're challenging legislators to live on $350 a week, the amount job seekers would get under a new bill aimed at slashing unemployment benefits.

The house will vote on the measure tonight, making today's event that much urgent.

Action NC and Democratic leaders rallied together, asking Governor Pat McCrory and members of the NC general assembly, to live one week on the proposed maximum unemployment benefit.

Charles carter, Former State Senator, ""we are calling on Pat McCrory to do his part, live on $350 a week and see what its like and then decide if you think this is the best North Carolina can do."

Activists calling it a "Cat Food Budget".
Leslie boyd, activist, "we couldn't find a way to afford food along with these other expenses."

Pat McCoy, Action NC, "our purpose is for them to understand what this would mean to people before they institute what we think is a harsh harsh measure what we think is going to make it really really difficult for people who want a job, to support themselves in the meantime."

Supporters of the bill say it will help pay off $2.5 billion of debt, by cutting the amount and duration of benefits and raising taxes slightly on employers.

Representative Nathan Ramsey told News 13 today that quote, "its not pleasant action, but we have to find a way to dig ourselves out of a hole." He went on to say, "thousands wake up everyday living on less than 350 dollars a week."

Governor McCrory has said he will sign the unemployment overhaul. The bill hits the house floor tonight.

Governor McCrory did not respond to our request for comment.

If the bill is approved, it will then go to the Senate, where its said to have strong support.

It could be on the governor's desk by next weekend.

By Ingrid Allstaedt
Follow Ingrid on Twitter @IngridNews13Jobless Benefits Battle

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