Pa. governor signs bill to repay jobless benefits debt

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Pennsylvania state government now has the authority to make one of its largest, if not its largest, bond issues ever as it looks to pay off a nearly $4 billion unemployment compensation debt to the federal government.

Gov. Tom Corbett signed the bill today.

The borrowing is to be repaid by money from the debt payments that employers wouldn’t have to send to the federal government.

The Corbett administration says employers stand to save about $175 million to $200 million because the interest on the bonds would be less expensive than the interest on the federal debt.

Meanwhile, the law also will extract more than $300 million in annual savings by narrowing eligibility for jobless benefits, provisions that drew opposition from Democrats and labor unions.

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