SC legislators approve unemployment benefit cuts

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - South Carolina workers will have their maximum unemployment benefits slashed from 26 weeks to 20 under a measure headed to Gov. Nikki Haley's desk.

With a 93-11 vote Wednesday, the House approved cutting the benefits.

The change also means South Carolinians will lose up to 17 weeks of federal extended benefits. Combined benefits would fall to from a maximum of 99 weeks to 77.

The legislation also limits unemployment benefits for people in seasonal occupations.

It also gives breaks to employers struggling to pay higher unemployment taxes as the state pays off federal jobless benefit loans.

Supporters including Haley have said the changes will help businesses and cut expenses in the unemployment system.

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