Missouri House votes for cuts to unemployment benefits

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jefferson city

Missouri Capitol Building in Jefferson City.

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) – Missouri House members have passed a bill to reduce the duration of state jobless benefits to one of the shortest periods nationally.

House members voted 100-56 Thursday to send the measure to the Senate.

The bill is a revival of a failed 2015 plan to cut the maximum benefits to 13 weeks if the state’s jobless rate is below 6 percent. That’s seven weeks fewer than what’s now allowed.

Missouri’s unemployment rate in December was 4.4 percent.

The maximum number of weeks will rise under Rep. Scott Fitzpatrick’s proposal if the unemployment rate creeps above 6 percent, topping out at 20 weeks if the jobless rate eclipses 9 percent.

The Missouri Supreme Court last year struck down the earlier version of the proposal on procedural grounds.