Georgia Governor Approves Cuts To Unemployment Benefits | Gov. Nathan Deal (R-GA) signed a law that reduces the number of weeks people would be able to collect unemployment benefits. Starting July 1, benefits will be reduced from 26 weeks to as little as 14 weeks. Republicans said it was needed because Georgia still must pay back more than $760 million it borrowed in recent years to pay for unemployment benefits, but state Democrats argued that cutting the benefits would hurt families. Georgia officials couldn’t keep up with the growing demand for unemployment benefits during the recession because legislators had passed a moratorium on collecting the tax from state employers during the booming economy.