Measure extends benefits for state’s unemployed

Legislation providing $198 million for Missouri unemployed families was signed last week by Gov. Jay Nixon.

House Bill 1075 included an amendment by Rep. Vicki Englund, D-Concord, that provides $65 million in federal dollars for extended benefits and additional job training.

The amendment was supported by major business organizations and Republicans for not costing Missouri’s businesses or taxpayers, according to a news release.

“I am happy to see Gov. Nixon’s swift signing of this historic legislation, including my amendment extending benefits and job training in these tough economic times,” Englund stated in the release.

Englund’s amendment reduces Missouri’s unemployment “trigger” to 6.5 percent, extending benefits an additional 13 to 20 weeks. It also provides an additional 23 weeks of qualified job training.

The legislation had key bipartisan support, including the chairman of the Workplace Safety Committee, Rep. Barney Fisher, R-Nevada, and the ranking Democrat on the Workplace Safety Committee, Rep. Gina Walsh, D-St. Louis.