SC jobless benefits to continue as impasse ends

Associated Press - December 31, 2008 12:43 PM ET

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford says he will request a $146 million federal loan, ending a stalemate that threatened unemployment benefits for 77,000 people.

Without the loan, the trust fund that pays $14 million a week in benefits would have run dry by the end of Wednesday. The request will allow benefits to continue through March.

Sanford had refused to sign the loan request because of a long-running dispute with the state agency that handles unemployment. The governor wanted the state agency audited, and several legislators said Wednesday they will ask for the review.

The state's trust fund has been losing money for years.

Last month, South Carolina reported the nation's third-worst unemployment rate at 8.4%.

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