Feds say Missouri could be ineligible for jobless funds

Tuesday, May 19, 2009 | 4:56 p.m. CDT; updated 6:56 p.m. CDT, Tuesday, May 19, 2009
JEFFERSON CITY — Missouri's attempt to draw down $133 million in federal stimulus money for unemployment benefits may not pass muster with the federal government.

The U.S. Department of Labor has told The Associated Press that Missouri would be ineligible for the money because of the wording used in legislation that passed Friday.

The Missouri bill would expand eligibility for jobless benefits by covering people who leave work for family reasons and by providing 26 weeks of additional benefits for people participating in job training.

But unless renewed by the legislature next year, Missouri's expanded benefits automatically would expire once it spends the federal money.

The federal Labor Department says states cannot receive the federal money if their expanded benefits would automatically expire.

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