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Virginia To Decide How To Fund Next Year's Unemployment Benefits

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Virginia owes $20.2 million in interest to the federal government on money borrowed to fund extended unemployment benefits. The state must now decide how to fund next year's unemployment benefits, and their decision could impact employers who pay into the trust fund.

A Virginia unemployment compensation commission discussed what the state’s burden would be if it borrowed an additional $251 million to help pay benefits for thousands of jobless workers.

Commission chair Senator John Watkins says that may depend on when the previously borrowed funds can be paid back. The panel is also concerned about whether employers' tax burdens will increase as a result. Watkins doesn't think that will be the case.

"Business is paying higher taxes now and we've also had to borrow," he says. "That decreases the deductibility of what they do pay. They're sort of being hit with a double whammy right now so I do not anticipate that we're going to add to the tax burden."

He's hopeful that since the state allocated $8.9 million for the interest payment, the balance can be paid before borrowing again next year.

WAMU 88.5

Taking Great Photos On Vacation Or "Staycation"

Professional photographers give us the latest on cameras, smart phones and shooting tips for great vacation photos this summer -- and every day.

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Squeezed By Drought, California Farmers Switch To Less Thirsty Crops

Water scarcity is leading farmers away from planting staples and towards planting higher-value, lower-water specialty crops. Think wine grapes and pomegranates instead of citrus and avocados.
WAMU 88.5

Obama's Trip to Africa & Foreign Aid

By visiting Africa this month, President Obama is drawing attention to one of the diplomatic tools that most directly shapes America's relationships with other countries: foreign aid and assistance. But now all policy makers at home feel the United States is pursuing the soundest strategy when it comes to providing aid abroad. We explore the issue with the official in charge of the Africa portfolio for the United States Agency for International Development.

WAMU 88.5

Taking Great Photos On Vacation Or "Staycation"

Professional photographers give us the latest on cameras, smart phones and shooting tips for great vacation photos this summer -- and every day.

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