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New Indiana Unemployment Law Takes Effect Saturday

Indiana workers taking voluntary buyouts will no longer eligible for state unemployment benefits starting tomorrow, and severance pay will be counted against unemployment payouts.Those are among the provision of the state's new unemployment law. The changes are part of Indiana’s plan to pay off a $2 billion loan from the federal government. Lawmakers approved major changes to how unemployment benefits are paid out and how much businesses pay in to the system earlier this year. All the changes become effective October 1. Republican Representative Dan Leonard, who authored the law, says the new limits on who is eligible for benefits, coupled with new premiums businesses pay, should put the state's unemployment insurance trust fund back in the black. The state was forced to take the federal loan in 2008 to cover increasing unemployment claims. Leonard expects the loan to be paid back by 2018. Opponents say they’re concerned the changes will hinder out of work Hoosiers who need the benefits to tide them over while they look for new employment. (Information for this story also came from the Associated Press)

Rick Howlett is host of WFPL's weekly talk show, "In Conversation." Email Rick at rhowlett@lpm.org.

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