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Feb. 24, 2017JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. |  By: Coffey / AP

Missouri House approves bill to reduce jobless benefits

Missouri House members have passed a bill to reduce the duration of state jobless benefits to one of the shortest periods nationally.  

House members voted 100-56 Thursday to send the measure to the Senate. The bill is a revival of a failed 2015 plan to cut the maximum benefits to 13 weeks if the state's jobless rate is below six percent. That's seven weeks fewer than what's currently allowed. Missouri's unemployment rate in December was 4.4 percent.  

Under the proposal the maximum number of weeks will rise if the unemployment rate exceeds six percent, topping out at 20 weeks should the jobless rate reach nine percent.

The Missouri Supreme Court last year struck down the earlier version of the proposal on procedural grounds.