General Assembly approves fix for bankrupt jobless fund

The Indiana Senate has given final legislative approval to a bill to fix the state's bankrupt unemployment insurance fund.

The Republican-ruled Senate voted 33-16 for the proposal, which would reduce jobless benefits for some people while softening tax increases on businesses. The bill now moves to Republican Gov. Mitch Daniels for his signature.

Supporters say the bill was a fair way to fix Indiana's unemployment fund, which currently pays out millions of dollars more in jobless benefits than it takes in through employer taxes.

Opponents and labor unions protesting at the Statehouse say the benefit reductions would unfairly hurt workers and push the unemployed further into poverty by reducing benefits for seasonal workers.

Lawmakers fast-tracked the bill so that revised first-quarter tax bills could be sent to businesses.

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