SC gov signs financial fix for jobless benefits

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford has signed legislation aimed at putting the state unemployment benefit system back on firm financial ground after borrowing more than $887 million from the federal government.

Sanford signed the legislation Thursday and said it begins the process of paying off the state's debt and correcting abuses in the jobless benefits system.

Employers firing or laying off workers frequently without proper cause will pay more. And the legislation also will make it more difficult for workers to get benefits if they don't work enough hours or have misbehaved at work.

Under the old system about a third of all jobless benefits paid were going to companies that had paid in just 8% of the state's total unemployment benefit premiums.

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