GOP lawmaker, once unemployed, seeks to reduce benefits

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FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) - A Republican Kentucky lawmaker who said he received unemployment benefits 20 years ago is sponsoring a bill that would cut those benefits.

State Rep. Russell Webber has sponsored House bill 317. A legislative committee approved the bill on Thursday. It would let people receive unemployment benefits for a maximum of 20 weeks instead of 26 weeks. It would also reduce the weekly benefit rate.

The bill would give people more money in the first five weeks of their unemployment. The rate would reduce the longer a person receives the benefits, which Webber said would encourage people to get a job more quickly.

Webber said the bill would put Kentucky in line with other states. Democratic state Rep. Josie Raymond said the bill is misguided and is an "insult to Kentuckians."