Proposed reforms to the state’s unemployment insurance system could mean more money for many Missourians who lose their jobs … and less for others. The current maximum benefit for a worker who loses a job through no fault of his or her own is $250 a week. Gracia Backer, the Director of the State Division of Employment Security, says the bill passed by the Legislature and awaiting Governor Bob Holden’s signature will hike that amount over the next several years. Check amounts will rise, year-by-year, to a maximum benefit of $320 by 2010. The increase for some workers means others – mostly part-timers at the low end of the pay scale – will no longer be eligible for benefits. The changes are the result of a bailout of the unemployment benefits fund … financed through increased taxes to employers.
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