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Pa. Legislature Approves Extension of Unemployment Benefits For Thousands

(Gov. Tom Corbett, in file photo by Tony Romeo)

(Gov. Tom Corbett, in file photo by Tony Romeo)

(Capitol dome, Harrisburg, Pa.   File photo) Tony Romeo
  Tony Romeo is Harrisburg bureau chief for KYW Newsradio...
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HARRISBURG, Pa. (CBS) - Governor Tom Corbett was expected to sign a bill headed to his desk that will allow tens of thousands of Pennsylvanians to receive another 13 weeks of federally funded unemployment compensation benefits.

The bill, passed by the House on Thursday and the Senate on Friday, will not only preserve unemployment benefits for 45,000 Pennsylvanians in the short-term, it will also provide additional benefits for 90,000 others through the end of the calendar year.

Passage of the bill went down to the wire because of disagreements over language added to the measure that will reform the state’s unemployment compensation system.

“This legislation, with numerous components of reform -– some updates to numbers that haven’t been updated since 1980 –- will produce $114 million in average annual savings,” says Republican state senator John Gordner, who sponsored the bill.

But Pennsylvania has borrowed over $3½ billion from the federal unemployment compensation trust fund, and Republican legislative leaders say more reforms will be needed.

Reported by KYW Harrisburg bureau chief Tony Romeo

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