Filibuster delays state Senate vote on extending unemployment benefits

A Missouri Senate Republican filibuster delayed a vote this week on extending unemployment benefits for Missourians.

The plan would give the state an extra $81 million in federal funds for unemployed Missourians.

The money would add up to 20 more weeks of unemployment benefits.

However, Sen. Jim Lembke, R-Lemay, filibustered, saying more time on unemployment leads to fewer applicants for jobs.

“We’ve got people saying we have jobs but if you extend that the people that generally work in our industry will not come back to work,” Lembke said.

Other Republican senators say they are concerned about out-of-control federal spending.

“People always wonder what’s going to happen with this money if we don’t take it and the bottom line is it doesn’t matter; because if it’s not right for us to take it then it’s not right for us to take it,” said Sen. Brian Nieves, R-Washington.

But some lawmakers from both parties contend if Missouri turns down the money it will instead be given to other states.

The Senate must vote by Thursday for the state to get the federal funds.

– Missouri Digital News