Pennsylvania Gov. Edward Rendell on Tuesday signed legislation on Tuesday that will extend jobless benefits in the state for an additional seven weeks for more than 23,000 residents.

The benefits, approved by the state’s general assembly, were federally funded through the economic stimulus package known as the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

“This money is badly needed right now by individuals who must pay for food, shelter and other necessities for their families as they try to find jobs in a challenging economy,” Rendell said in a released statement.

He said the legislation will “infuse $145 million” into the state’s economy.

The extension gives residents up to 79 weeks of unemployment benefits. Eligible individuals will be notified by mail with instructions on how to file for additional benefits, according to the statement.

“We will work to get benefits out to those who need them as soon as possible,” said Sandi Vito, Labor & Industry Secretary.