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Lawmakers consider stimulus checks for North Carolina parents, temporary increase in unemployment benefits

(CBS17) - Republican leaders in the General Assembly are discussing plans to send stimulus checks to parents and temporarily increase state unemployment benefits when they return to Raleigh for a brief session this week. 

Sources familiar with the discussions said legislators are negotiating a plan to send parents stimulus checks worth at least $200 using a portion of the state’s share of funding from the federal CARES Act. The payments could be a flat amount sent to each family or a dollar amount per child. Legislators were still discussing details of the proposal Monday. 

Republican leaders in the House and Senate have agreed to boost state unemployment benefits by $50 per week for the rest of the year, using CARES Act money. Cooper had called for the maximum payment to be increased from $350 per week to $500. 

Sen. Chuck Edwards (R-48th District) said if the Republican legislative proposal passes and is signed into law, it would increase benefits for all people who qualify for state benefits by $50 per week, which he said would impact more people. It would apply to people who qualify beginning in September. 

“So many people out there are hurting right now. So many are struggling to figure out how to put groceries on their table,” said Edwards. “We simply have to look for ways to help supplement their income right now until the governor is able to, or at least willing to, help folks get back to work.” 

This money would be in addition to the $300 per week federal benefits authorized by President Donald Trump in his executive order earlier in April.