Senate Pushes to Reopen Some Unemployment Offices

Graphic: MGN online

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By Liz Blood

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Senate Democrats are pushing to reopen some unemployment offices that closed amid a shift to offering more services by computer, but they acknowledge the governor's opposition will likely stop their effort.

The Democrats, who hold a majority in the state Senate, have included $2.7 million in their economic development budget to reopen unemployment offices in Ames, Atlantic, Clinton, Dennison and Newton. Supporters of the effort say those areas need extra attention to help unemployed people.

But supporters like Democratic Sen. Bill Dotzler, of Waterloo, acknowledge Gov. Terry Branstad opposes the effort and Republicans likely won't support it.

Branstad has been behind the effort to close dozens of unemployment office and install computers in more than 1,000 spots where job seeks can file for unemployment, search for jobs and build resumes.

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