- Associated Press - Tuesday, January 27, 2015

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - A Missouri bill to link the length of unemployment benefits to the unemployment rate has approval from a House panel.

The bill approved Monday also would increase the amount of money the state must have saved to pay for benefits before reducing how much businesses need to contribute.

Supporters of the bill say they want to make sure the state’s unemployment trust fund does not run out of money in the future.

Missouri’s unemployment fund had to borrow money from the federal program in 2009 and paid it off last year.

When a state trust fund is in debt to the federal government, businesses lose out on part of a federal tax credit.

The bill also requires a state board consider alternative financing next time the trust fund needs money.

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