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Mo. Senate passes extension of jobless benefits

April 6: Sen. Brian Nieves speaks about unemployment benefits during a press conference in Jefferson City, Mo.

April 6: Sen. Brian Nieves speaks about unemployment benefits during a press conference in Jefferson City, Mo.  (AP)

The Missouri Senate has passed legislation extending federally funded jobless benefits to thousands of people who were cut off from payments earlier this month.

The Senate's 28-5 vote Monday ratifies a deal struck last week to end a filibuster by several senators upset about the growth of federal spending.

The bill would renew Missouri's participation in a federal program that provides 20 weeks of additional benefits to people who have been unemployed for a year and a half. But the legislation also would reduce state-funded benefits by six weeks for people hired after the bill's enactment who later get laid off.

To become law, the bill still must pass a final House vote and be signed by Gov. Jay Nixon.