Missouri House considers bill to reduce time for jobless benefits

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – A bill in the Missouri legislature would reduce the maximum number of weeks residents could claim jobless benefits to one of the lowest levels in the country.

Lawmakers in a House committee on Tuesday approved legislation to reduce the time laid off workers could receive benefits from 20 weeks to 13 weeks, if the state’s jobless rate is below 6 percent. The current unemployment rate is 3.5 percent.

If passed, the bill would take effect in August.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports supporters say workers should not be paid benefits when the jobless rate is low. Opponents say the bill is not fair to workers at a time when businesses are getting breaks from the legislature.

The national standard for paying jobless benefits is 26 weeks.
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Information from: St. Louis Post-Dispatch, http://www.stltoday.com