Georgia Senate OK's unemployment changes

The Georgia Senate has voted to expand unemployment benefits, allowing the state to qualify for hundreds of millions of dollars in federal stimulus money.

The bill allows some jobless workers to qualify for additional unemployment benefits if they seek training in high-demand fields. It also permits part-time workers to collect benefits even if they seek part-time work. Current law holds that the jobless must seek full-time work to collect benefits. The changes will help Georgia collect some $226 million in stimulus money.

The bill also gives some workers stuck on the unemployment rolls the ability to collect another 13 weeks of benefits, for a total of 39 weeks. The stimulus dollars will pay the tab of $300 million.

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