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Arkansas judge orders state to resume extra unemployment benefits

A judge has ordered Arkansas to resume its participation in supplemental federal unemployment assistance that the state cut off to thousands of workers.

LITTLE ROCK, Ark — A judge has ordered Arkansas to resume its participation in supplemental federal unemployment assistance that the state cut off to thousands of workers. 

Pulaski County Circuit Judge Herbert Wright on Wednesday issued a preliminary injunction ordering the state to seek federal approval to rejoin the program.

Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson in May ordered the state's Division of Workforce Services to end the state's participation after June 26.  

The federally funded additional benefits were scheduled to run through early September.  

Five Arkansas residents who lost benefits sued.  

Wright said state law indicated that ending the payments was a decision for the Legislature, not Hutchinson, to make. 

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