OLYMPIA -- The State Senate overwhelmingly approved changes to the state's unemployment insurance system today, increasing benefits temporarily by $25 a week and expanding training programs for jobless workers.
The bill, which follows approval earlier this week of a temporary halt of a planned rate increase for most businesses, now goes to Gov. Chris Gregoire and could be signed as early as this afternoon.
Supporters described it in glowing terms as a bipartisan, bicameral solution worked out in conjunction with Gregoire that would help businesses and unemployed workers. So a win-win-win-win-win.
It passed 41-4. Among Spokane-area senators, Mike Baumgartner and Lisa Brown of Spokane and Bob Morton of Kettle Falls voted yes, Mark Schoesler of Ritzville voted no