- Associated Press - Wednesday, January 22, 2014

ATLANTA (AP) - A state House subcommittee has approved a bill aimed at blocking seasonal workers of private companies from qualifying for unemployment benefits.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (http://bit.ly/1dVhvci) reports House Bill 714, which is sponsored by Republican Rep. Mark Hamilton, of Cumming, passed the House Industry and Labor subcommittee in a party-line vote on Tuesday.

Hamilton and state Labor Commissioner Mark Butler have said private companies capitalize on unemployment to avoid paying impacted workers during their off seasons. Butler told the subcommittee that private firms encourage workers to apply for jobless benefits at the state’s expense.

The bill has yet to be introduced to the full chamber.

The state in 2011 tried blocking certain seasonal employees from unemployment and had to pay qualified workers $8 million in back benefits.

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Information from: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, http://www.ajc.com