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Granholm signs deal to get Mich. unemployment help

LANSING, Feb. 19, 2009 (AP): Gov. Jennifer Granholm has signed a deal with federal officials that would allow a $25 per week increase in unemployment benefits for eligible Michigan residents.

Granholm said the contract with the U.S. Department of Labor related to a federally funded program that was signed Thursday. It's part of the broad $787 billion stimulus package signed into law by President Barack Obama this week.

The benefits increase is expected to begin in late spring and run through the rest of 2009.

The stimulus package also extends the federal emergency unemployment compensation program through the end of year and exempts the first $2,400 in unemployment benefits from federal income tax.

Michigan's unemployment rate led the nation at 10.6 percent in December.






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