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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon has vetoed legislation that would have shortened the duration of unemployment benefits.

The bill rejected Tuesday by Nixon would have tied the length of jobless benefits to the state's unemployment rate.

Missouri residents currently can collect benefits for up to 20 weeks. The bill would have allowed that only when the state's average unemployment rate is at least 9 percent. The maximum length of benefits would have decreased as unemployment rates dropped, bottoming out at 13 weeks when the jobless rate is less than 6 percent.

The legislation also would have raised the cap on how much money can be kept in Missouri's unemployment trust fund.

Nixon said the bill was unnecessary, because Missouri has now finished repaying a federal debt for its unemployment fund.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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