Pa. Senate OKs bill to extend jobless benefits

AP News
Posted: Jan 24, 2012 10:17 AM
Pa. Senate OKs bill to extend jobless benefits

A bill that would update Pennsylvania law to ensure residents continue to qualify for up to 13 weeks of federally paid jobless benefits has the approval of state senators.

Senators voted 47-3 on Monday to send it to the House.

The state Labor and Industry Department estimates that qualifying will allow 17,000 people to collect $30 million in benefits. A Dec. 23 federal law provides a 60-day benefits extension, but the week ending Feb. 4 would be the last week of the benefit if the state doesn't act to extend it into March.

The federal benefits cover private-sector employees, but not public-sector employees. Right now, 93 weeks is the maximum jobless benefit, but the department says Pennsylvania is about lose seven weeks of high-unemployment period benefits.