House Considers Bill To Reduce Time For Jobless Benefits

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — 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.

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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