Legislative economists predict Colorado's unemployment benefits fund will be close to insolvency next year.
There is no danger of jobless benefits going unpaid because the state can borrow money to keep paying them. But Colorado may have to issue bonds or join states like Michigan that are borrowing from the federal government to pay benefits.
The council expects payouts from the fund to total $834 million in the current fiscal year. The fund is financed by assessments on employers and earns interest.
Colorado's jobless rate hit 6.6 percent in January.
Wednesday a state Senate committee approved a bill that would make Colorado eligible for $127 million in federal stimulus money for the fund by expanding who qualifies for jobless benefits.
(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)