Bill making changes to jobless benefits clears House panel

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FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) – Unemployed Kentuckians would face the prospect of receiving jobless benefits for shorter amounts of time under a bill advanced by Republican state lawmakers.

Currently, unemployment benefits are paid up to 26 weeks. The length of benefits would be tied to the statewide jobless rate under the bill advanced by a House committee Thursday.

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Based on the latest unemployment rate, jobless workers would get benefits for 16 weeks.

Under the bill, the length of benefits would grow incrementally as jobless rates increase. The maximum would be 26 weeks of support if unemployment is 9 percent or higher.

Supporters see the changes as another incentive for laid-off workers to quickly find new jobs.

Opponents say the changes will hurt people who are already struggling, especially in places with few job prospects.