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Michigan Dems Push For Extended Jobless Benefits

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LANSING (WWJ) – Michigan Democrats are attempting to reverse a vote that will cut the number of weeks jobless workers can receive state unemployment benefits.

The bill would restore the six weeks of benefits that would be lost through a recently enacted law.

WWJ Newsradio 950 spoke with State Senator Tupac Hunter from Detroit who helped introduced the legislation.

“We thought that it was not fair to punish our workers who, through no fault of their own, in many cases, find themselves to be unemployed. They’re struggling every day, looking for jobs. But they have to keep food on the table and unemployment insurance allows many of them, most of them, to do just that,” said Hunter.

Hunter said cutting those benefits not only impacts families, it impacts Michigan’s economy.

“People who get unemployment insurance, they spend the money in our economy so this is not something that I see as a negative. I see it as a positive. But we should all, at the same time, continue to focus on creating jobs so that we can continue to move our unemployment rate down,” he said.

The measure, signed by GOP Governor Rick Snyder in March, will cut the length of time jobless workers can get state benefits from the current 26 weeks to 20 weeks.

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