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Published October 29, 2011, 08:46 AM

North Dakota Lawmaker wants Benefits for Locked-Out Workers

FARGO, N.D. (AP) — A Fargo state senator wants North Dakota lawmakers to consider paying unemployment benefits to workers who are locked out of their jobs.

FARGO, N.D. (AP) — A Fargo state senator wants North Dakota lawmakers to consider paying unemployment benefits to workers who are locked out of their jobs.

The proposal by Democratic Sen. Tim Mathern comes as a lockout of about 1,300 American Crystal Sugar Co. workers approaches its fourth month.

The company's North Dakota workers can't get jobless benefits during the lockout. In Minnesota, they can draw at least 26 weeks of benefits.

North Dakota's Legislature is starting a special session Nov. 7, and Mathern wants his bill debated then.

A Republican-controlled delayed bills committee will decide whether Mathern may introduce the measure.

Republican House Majority Leader Al Carlson of Fargo said he doubts the bill will be put in. Mathern could try to attach it to other legislation.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.

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