Gov. Whitmer Signs Bipartisan Bills Extending Unemployment Benefits to 26 Weeks

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Gov. Gretchen Whitmer Tuesday signed Senate Bills 886 and 991 codifying part of her executive orders expanding unemployment benefits to Michiganders from 20 to 26 weeks. This extension will apply to residents who have lost work due to COVID-19. The bills were sponsored by Sen. Ken Horn (R-Frankenmuth). 

While the bills signed today codify the majority of the Governor’s executive orders on unemployment, the legislature did not extend the Governor’s efforts to speed up claim processing by allowing UIA to review only a claimant’s most recent employer separation. UIA must now evaluate every job a worker has left in the past 18 months – a waste of resources because employers are not being directly charged for benefits paid at this time. 

“The talent pipeline is an ongoing challenge in segments of the economy, however many other workers are still struggling and this legislation provides certainty for them and employers that the unemployment system will stay stable and funded for foreseeable future allowing successful programs like workshare to flourish,” said Sandy K. Baruah, President and CEO of the Detroit Regional Chamber. 

Since March 15, Gov. Whitmer’s administration has paid over $25 billion in benefits to 2.2 million workers. Michigan was one of the first states to begin issuing the additional $600 pandemic benefit from the U.S. government. 


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