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Extending unemployment benefits 26 weeks: What that means for Mid-Michigan

Posted at 9:45 PM, Jul 01, 2024
  • House Democrats passed House bill 5827, increasing unemployment benefits from 20 to 26 weeks (5 to 6.5 months).
  • Former Governor Synder reverted the unemployment deadline from 26 to 20 weeks back in 2011.
  • Video show state representatives discussing the impacts the benefits could have on Michigan.

"There are many open jobs in nearly area in our state, nearly every industry in our state."
Brian Calley is the President and CEO of the Small Business Association of Michigan and sees a shifting job market in our neighborhoods.

WATCH INTERVIEW WITH BRIAN CALLEY, PRESIDENT AND CEO OF THE SMALL BUSINESS ASSOCIATION OF MICHIGAN

Interview with SBAM CEO and President

"We have a shrinking population and a growing demand for people to find those jobs," Calley said.

But what is the solution?

Wednesday, along party lines, House Democrats voted to increase the unemployment benefits period from 20 to 26 weeks.

Those in favor of the bill say it's needed to help those who are struggling.

"You are hardly getting any money so it's definitely something that needs to be changed," State Representative Karen Whitsett said.

But House Republicans, whom opposed the bill, said that the focus should instead be on increasing resources for people to find jobs.

"It will only ensure that those who refuse to proactively look for a job can put off the search even longer, as they enjoy a taxpayer funded vacation," State Representative Cam Cavitt said.

But Calley said increasing the benefits timeline will hurt the pockets of people in our neighborhoods.

"The cost of everything is rising so much. Families are really feeling the pinch on that," Calley said. "Extending the unemployment benefits will cause prices to rise even more."

The bill still needs to be approved by the Senate when the legislators are back in session in July.

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