Missouri Senate resumes debate on jobless benefits

Thursday, April 7, 2011 | 2:17 p.m. CDT

JEFFERSON CITY — The Missouri Senate has again brought up a bill to extend federally funded unemployment benefits.

Some Republican senators upset about federal spending continued to speak against the bill Thursday, but Senate President Pro Tem Rob Mayer said he hopes to resolve the stalemate before the day ends.

Senate opponents offered Wednesday to relent, but only if Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon agrees to eliminate $300 million of federal stimulus spending for various programs. Nixon has not commented directly on that offer but has said he still supports the unemployment legislation.

At issue is an additional 20 weeks of benefits for people who already have been out of work for a year and a half. About 10,000 people lost benefits when Missouri's eligibility in the program ended Saturday.

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