Missouri jobless aid dependent on constitutional challenge
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — The duration of jobless benefits for thousands of unemployed workers could turn on how the state Supreme Court interprets a sentence in the Missouri Constitution regarding vetoed bills.
The court heard arguments Wednesday on whether the Senate exceeded its powers when it voted last September to override Gov. Jay Nixon's veto of a bill cutting unemployment benefits from 20 weeks to 13 weeks. The quickened clock began ticking Jan. 1 for people filing new claims.
An attorney for unemployed workers told Supreme Court judges that the constitution required the Senate to vote on the override in May, as the House did.
But the attorney general's office says senators had the option of waiting until September. A lower court originally ruled in favor of the Senate's action.
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