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House, Senate approve bill reducing unemployment benefits


The Iowa House and Senate late Wednesday passed a bill that would reduce the number of weeks a person who loses their job would be eligible for unemployment benefits.

Reforming the state’s unemployment system was a priority that Gov. Kim Reynolds outlined in her Condition of the State address at the start of the session, where she said safety nets that were in place had become a “hammock.”

House File 2355 would reduce the number of weeks someone would receive unemployment benefits from 26 to 16. If a person loses their job because their employer goes out of business, benefits would be reduced from 39 weeks to 26 weeks. The House version stripped an eight-day waiting period before benefits would kick in.

The Senate adopted the House bill and voted to approve it, but with an amendment that adds back in the one-week waiting period.

According to the Legislature’s website, the Senate withdrew its version of the bill from consideration.

Because of the amendment, the bill must go back to the House for consideration. Both chambers must approve the same version of the bill before it goes to Reynolds to be signed into law.

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