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      Missouri Senate endorses unemployment change

      The Missouri Senate floor.

      Missouri senators have given preliminary approval to legislation that would tie the amount of weeks a person can receive unemployment insurance to the state's jobless rate.

      Current law allows people to collect checks for 20 weeks after losing their job, regardless of the unemployment rate.

      Under the legislation endorsed Wednesday, Missourians would get only 14 weeks of unemployment benefits if they started collecting this month. That's because the state's unemployment rate sits at 6.4 percent. The state's jobless rate would need to be more than 9 percent for a person to receive the current 20-week benefit.

      The bill needs one more affirmative vote before moving to the House. It is sponsored by Republican Sen. Mike Kehoe of Jefferson City.