PA Jobless Benefits, Due To End Today, Extended

The State Capital in Harrisburg.

HARRISBURG PA – State House and Senate leaders agreed Wednesday (June 15, 2011) to extend unemployment benefits for about 45,000 Pennsylvanians who would have lost them at week’s end. Democrat leaders praised the compromise plan that delays until fall any attempt to deal with $3.5 billion in unemployment compensation debt the state owes the federal government, according to The Pennsylvania Independent online news service.

The bill contains measures that both sides said would hold down future costs in the state unemployment system. It caps the top level of benefits at $572 per week and freezes at that amount for next year, but it affects only those who were receiving federal extended unemployment benefits and had been out of work for 72 weeks or more. The benefit freeze will save $10 million this year and between $50 million and $70 million next year, proponents said.