Mar 2, 2010 9:22 AM by Associated Press

Lawmakers consider unemployment for reduced hours

Workers whose hours are cut to prevent layoffs would be allowed to collect partial unemployment benefits under a bill being considered in the state Senate.

The Senate debated the bill Monday but delayed an initial vote.

It would allow people working reduced hours to collect unemployment for the lost hours for up to 18 weeks. That's two months less than the period for full unemployment benefits.

The unemployment fund has been running low because of the recession, but Democratic Sen. Rollie Heath says paying partial benefits will be cheaper than full benefits for laid-off workers.

Senate Republican leader Josh Penry proposed that lawmakers pull back partial benefits if the unemployment fund suffers. Heath asked for a delay to consider the change.



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