Governor signs unemployment stimulus bill

Gov Jim Gibbons signed the legislation Thursday designed to ensure Nevada claims all the unemployment insurance stimulus funding the state is entitled to.

He originally objected to taking $77 million of the $291 million total unemployment funding in the package because it required the state to expand eligibility to unemployment benefits. He changed his mind after federal Labor Department officials indicated states could change their laws back to tighten elgibility after the federal money covering those added to the benefit rolls runs out.

"The governor was concerned Nevada businesses would be left to cover the cost of expanded coverage when Stimulus dollars run out," a spokesman said.

Assembly Bill 469 is the legislation which makes that legal change to Nevada statutes.

During hearings, Assemby Speaker Barbara Buckley, D-Las Vegas, said the change would make 4,137 more people eligible in Nevada and that the $77 million would cover those costs for up to 10 years.

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