JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) -- Thousands of people in Missouri who have been unemployed for more than a year soon will lose their jobless benefits. When they do, it will mark a significant new victory for fiscal hawks, who have seized upon government spending for the unemployed to make a symbolic stand against the federal deficit.
Eligibility will end Saturday for Missourians covered under a federal stimulus program that provides up to 20 weeks of additional benefits. Missouri will become the first state to sign up for the federal program, then voluntarily quit.
Officials in Michigan, Arkansas and Florida also recently took steps to cut back on money going to the unemployed, although they targeted state jobless benefits.
The demise of the benefits is occurring because four Republican senators have filibustered a bill authorizing participation.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)