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Lawmakers Discuss Unemployment Insurance

Jason Cooper, WFNT

State Representative Jim Ananich (D-Flint) and State Senator John Gleason (D-Flushing) laid out the Democratic plan to help get the unemployed back to work today. Ananich and Gleason were at the Genesee/Shiawasee Michigan Works office in Flint where they outlined the plan which includes:

  • Incentives for small businesses who hire people who are unemployed, with greater incentives for hiring veterans and those who have exhausted all their benefits.
  • Creating a work sharing program to help prevent layoffs and keep workers on the job, which Governor Snyder advocated for in his message last week on workforce development.
  • Preventing employers from discriminating against those who are unemployed by only allowing applications from people who currently have a job.
  • Restoring Michigan’s unemployment insurance back to 26 weeks.
  • Congress must extend unemployment benefits.

Ananich, who has sponsored numerous proposals to strengthen unemployment insurance and help create jobs said “a strong unemployment insurance system is key to our ability to get people back to work and to support our local economy.”

Gleason added that “we need to be focused on ways to help middle-class families lift themselves back into the workforce, not take away the very lifeline that they rely on to put food on the table.”

A recent national study by the Economic Policy institute found that Michigan stood to lose more than 20,000 jobs next year if Congress did not act to extend the unemployment insurance funding. The most recent jobs report has also revealed that Michigan’s unemployment rate was still more then 10%.

Listen to what Gleason had to say on actual unemployment figures:

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Listen to Ananich on the need of a revamped unemployment program:

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