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Democrats Urge Snyder To Reconsider Jobless Benefits

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LANSING (WWJ) - State Democrats are asking Governor Rick Snyder to veto a bill they say would hurt hundreds of thousands of the state’s unemployed.

Senator Gretchen Whitmer said the bill that passed legislature yesterday would help this year, but it would permanently limit benefits beginning next year.

“Instead of making the simple fix to maintain the unemployment assistance for Michigan workers, we’re being given legislation that winds up cutting people off their benefits sooner than if we had done nothing. We’re talking about over 500,000 people and their families in Michigan,” Whitmer said.

The bill, while extending jobless benefits this year, will permanently limit the unemployed to 20 weeks of benefits instead of 26 starting in 2012.

Congressman Sander Levin says Republicans “sold out” working families. “This is a permanent change in a provision that’s been a Michigan law for over 50 years. Essentially what’s happened is they’ve hijacked what was a needed technical change to make this permanent change.”

Whitmer agrees. “The bill actually provides a permanent net loss of unemployment benefits to Michigan workers and protects businesses who act fraudulently.”

Whitmer said the bill would make Michigan the only state in the nation that provides fewer that 26 weeks of jobless benefits. No word from Governor Snyder on whether he intends to sign the bill.

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