Brewer calls session on extended jobless benefits

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By Alicia Barron By Alicia Barron

PHOENIX (AP) -- Gov. Jan Brewer is calling legislators into special session to change state law so jobless Arizonans could continue to get 20 weeks of extended unemployment benefits.

Brewer announced late Wednesday that she's calling a special session to begin Friday morning.

A dip in the unemployment rate sets the stage for the extended benefits to end this week unless lawmakers act.

What will happen during the special session is unclear. Many Republican legislators say the state shouldn't provide a total of nearly two years of unemployment benefits.

Brewer said keeping extended benefits provides both a lifeline for the recipients and helps the state's still-lagging economy.

Without the extended benefits provided through the federal stimulus program, Arizona unemployment benefits would end at 79 weeks.