Ind. Senate OKs bill to delay jobless tax hikes

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INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The Republican-controlled state Senate has approved a bill delaying unemployment tax increases on businesses for a year, but the legislation may face hurdles in the Democrat-led House.

The Senate voted 33-17 Tuesday to delay 2010 unemployment tax increases until 2011 in an effort to help employers retain workers during the difficult economy. Senate Democrats opposed the proposal, saying it could prevent out-of-work employees from collecting benefits while disputed claims were resolved.

The bill now moves to the House. Some House Democrats say the unemployment tax increase should not be delayed because it’s needed to start replenishing the unemployment insurance fund, which owes $1.5 billion to the federal government.