Senate Passes Miner Benefits Sans GOP’s Hope for Tax Break
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - Minnesota's Senate has passed a bill extending unemployment benefits for laid-off steelworkers, but it's not a done deal.
Thousands of miners have been laid off on Minnesota's Iron Range amid a sharp downturn in the domestic steel economy. Hundreds have already exhausted the state's unemployment benefits.
The Senate voted 62-3 Thursday to extend those checks by 26 weeks.
It faces an uncertain future in the House, where Republicans who control the chamber want to pair the extension with a tax break for businesses that pay into the state's unemployment insurance fund. Democrats have opposed that measure.
Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk says he's working on a deal with Republican House Speaker Kurt Daudt that would quickly extend benefits with a vow to pass a tax cut in the coming weeks.