Assessment for Arizona jobless benefits advances

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PHOENIX -- New legislation to have Arizona employers pay more for unemployment benefits is advancing.

The House Commerce Committee on Wednesday endorsed a bill to require employers to pay a two-year special assessment over and above the state tax that they already pay for unemployment benefits.

Business groups supporting the assessment say it's a way to put the state on track to start repaying borrowing from the federal government.

The state's unemployment benefits trust fund has been emptied by the recession-fueled demand for unemployment benefits.

A legislative staff memo says the assessment would amount to $42 per employee in each of 2011 and 2012.

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