A major bill to pay off Pennsylvania's nearly $4-billion unemployment compensation debt to the federal government is advancing through the Legislature.
Senators approved it Tuesday, 29-19, and it heads to the House of Representatives for a Wednesday vote.
The bill is supported by the business community and most Republicans, and opposed by labor unions and most Democrats. Under it, a state development-financing agency could issue up to $4.5-billion in bonds to pay off the debt. It'd be repaid by money from the debt payments that employers wouldn't have to send to the federal government.
The interest, in theory, would be less expensive than the interest on the federal debt. Meanwhile, the plan also would extract more than $300-million in annual savings by narrowing a person’s eligibility for jobless benefits.
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