Missouri Governor Signs Extension of Jobless Benefits
JEFERSON CITY - After weeks of delays Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon signed legislation Wednesday restoring federally funded jobless benefits to thousands of Missourians who stopped seeing benefits April 2. Nixon's signature means retroactive payments will go out later this week or early next week to about 10,000 people whose eligibility for unemployment benefits ended. But a provision in the legislation also cuts aid to people laid off in the future.
The new legislation says that people who lose their jobs on Sunday or later will be eligible for just 20 weeks of state-funded benefits instead of 26.
It's a concession Nixon said was necessary to get this passed into law, but he does have some concerns.
"We had a system that this extended benefits is built on," Nixon said. "It does give me concern. And as I've said before, it doesn't mean we're not gonna look at in the future revisiting some of those areas."
The trade-off is part of a deal struck to end a filibuster by four Republican state senators who were upset about federal spending and deficits. Republican Senate leaders also agreed to help identify up to $250 million of cuts to federal stimulus projects in Missouri. Lawmakers said the Labor Department will notify anyone who's qualified to let them know when the money will start flowing again.