TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Republicans in the Kansas House threatened Thursday to block an important unemployment bill favored by business leaders and GOP Gov. Sam Brownback's administration unless the measure also prohibits labor unions from financing political activities with funds deducted from members' paychecks.

House Commerce and Economic Development Committee Chairman Anthony Brown said his chamber can't accept provisions in the unemployment bill increasing businesses' costs without the restriction on unions. The Eudora Republican is his chamber's lead negotiator in talks with the Senate over the unemployment bill.

That measure is considered vital because it allows Kansas to repay $171 million in loans made to it by the federal government last year to cover benefits for unemployed workers, as well as up to $8 million in interest costs. Without it, Kansas Department of Labor officials said, the state will face federal penalties.

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