The Pennsylvania Senate and House are each expected to vote this week on unemployment compensation-related legislation as a June 11 deadline nears to preserve 13 weeks of federally-funded jobless benefits.
The federal government Friday determined that Pennsylvania's unemployment rate which dipped to 7.5% in April had dropped far enough to trigger the deadline. The national jobless rate was 9.0% in April.
Republican and Democratic state lawmakers appear united in wanting to preserve the 13weeks of benefits because an estimated 45,000 Pennsylvanians would immediately lose a weekly check, and another 90,000 will miss out on those benefits altogether during 2011.
However, debate could be heated over how to repay Pennsylvania's $3.7 billion debt to the federal government for the cost of unemployment benefits accumulated since the recession began.