Unemployment Benefits at Risk

About 1,000 stateline residents are set to lose their unemployment benefits each week if the U.S. Senate can't approve another extension for laid-off workers.

Senator Dick Durbin tried getting the measure passed this morning but it was blocked by Republican Senator Jim bunning of Kentucky. Bunning argues he can't approve spending $10 billion more dollars when the deficit is already so high. This extension would have also provided subsidies to help pay health premiums through cobra and spared doctors from a 21% cut in medicare payments. Experts remind us to view unemployment benefits as temporary as we search for work.

"We continue to encourage people to honestly assess their skills to honestly assess what vocation or educational training they could better obtain to better position themselves in the market place for when this national recession receeds and job growth returns to Illinois." said Greg Rivara from the Illinois Department of Employment Security.

Benefits are set to begin expiring Sunday. Senate leaders say they'll keep trying to change Bunning's mind in hopes of voting again next week.

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