JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) -- A Missouri Senate committee wants to seek federal stimulus money to help unemployed workers finish their college education.
The Senate Appropriations Committee inserted an item Wednesday evening into Missouri's proposed budget that would seek a $9.5 million federal grant. The funds would provide tuition assistance and job training to unemployed workers who already have some college education.
The move is backed by Gov. Jay Nixon's administration.
But Nixon's officials were taken by surprise by another decision by the Senate panel. Senators decided to drain a $37 million fund intended to update the computer system for the state's unemployment division and instead use the money to help pay down Missouri's debt. According to the state labor department website, Missouri owes $790 million to the federal government for unemployment benefits.