Tenn. lawmakers disagree on unemployment benefits
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - The Legislature's progress toward passing Tennessee's $30.2 billion annual spending plan has hit a snag over efforts to extend unemployment benefits to thousands of jobless Tennesseans.
The House plan includes about $3 million in state funds to help draw down about $60 million in federal money to pay for up to 20 more weeks of unemployment benefits.
But the Senate version doesn't include any money for the jobless benefits. Republican Senate Speaker Ron Ramsey says he will "draw the line in the sand" over the issue because the government can't afford the program.
Republican Gov. Bill Haslam says the unemployment benefits are not among his budget priorities, and that he'll leave it to the Legislature to decide the issue.
Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.