Dayton approves extended unemployment benefits

Published 7:52 pm Wednesday, March 9, 2011

ST. PAUL (AP) — Gov. Mark Dayton has signed a law keeping Minnesota’s jobless eligible for 13 weeks of extended federal unemployment benefits.

The Democratic governor signed the bill into law on Wednesday, saying the extension is “vitally important.”

Dayton says the law will help 55,000 unemployed state residents get up to $160 million in benefits through the end of the year.

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The legislation makes a technical adjustment in state law to keep unemployed Minnesotans eligible for up to 86 weeks of benefits. Without the change, they would have lost out on 13 of those weeks.

Minnesota’s unemployment trust fund is currently running a $600 million deficit but is projected to return to the black within two years.