Wednesday, Dec. 18, 2013 | 2:04 p.m.
CARSON CITY — Nevada U.S. Sen. Dean Heller and Democratic Sen. Jack Reed of Rhode Island have introduced a bill to temporarily extend federal jobless benefits for the long-term unemployed.
The measure introduced Wednesday would extend the federal program for three months while a compromise in negotiated in Congress.
A budget deal on track for passage eliminated the federal jobless benefits that were implemented at the height of the recession when the unemployment rate skyrocketed. Nevada pays benefits up to 26 weeks.
State officials say 17,000 Nevadans will be cut off from assistance when the current federal program expires Dec. 28. Another 800 people per week will lose benefits unless the program is extended. Nationally, 1.3 million will lose unemployed insurance.
Nevada's 9.3 percent unemployment rate is the highest in the nation.