Pennsylvania may extend unemployment

    Thousands of struggling Pennsylvanians could get an extension on their unemployment benefits.

    Thousands of struggling Pennsylvanians could get an extension on their unemployment benefits. The State Senate is expected to vote Wednesday to release federal money that would help those who have exhausted their benefits.

    Listen:
    [audio: 090727spbenefit.mp3]

    More than 23,000 Pennsylvania residents who have used up their unemployment benefits stand to get an additional seven weeks of payments. The state House had already voted to release the federal funds, but the bill stalled in the Senate due to concerns over costs to local governments.

    Republican Senate Majority leader Dominic Pileggi from Chester County says those local governments have signaled they’re willing to eat the cost in order to extend benefits to residents.

    Pileggi: From the state’s perspective these are federal dollars by and large that are made available to the state and we think its reasonable to accept those federal dollars and make that benefit available to Pennsylvanians.

    About another 40,000 residents are also scheduled to lose their benefits by December. The state’s unemployment rate jumped to 8.3 percent in May.

    Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

    It will take 126,000 members this year for great news and programs to thrive. Help us get to 100% of the goal.