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Governor proposes stimulus-related amendments

Gov. Tim Kaine is proposing amendments to legislation that would make sure that the state gets $125 million in unemployment money from the federal stimulus package.

The state already has received $62.5 million as part of the unemployment modernization program regulated by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, but state law needs to be changed to make it eligible for the extra $125 million, Kaine said.

The changes would extend unemployment eligibility for workers in training by 26 weeks, and extend unemployment benefits by 13 weeks  on top of the 26 weeks and 20-week extension now in effect.

Other amendments would extend basic health coverage in insurance policies provide by small business and provide a 65 percent subsidy of health insurance premiums under COBRA for nine months.

A press release has more detail on the proposals.

By Alan Cooper

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