LANSING — Governor Whitmer signed Senate Bills 886 and 991, which expand unemployment benefits for all Michiganders.
The bipartisan bills Whitmer signed will extend unemployment benefits for Michiganders who have lost work as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic from 20 to 26 weeks until the end of the year. Both bills were sponsored by Senator Ken Horn (R-Frankenmuth).
“No Michigander should have to worry about how to put food on the table or pay their bills, especially during a global pandemic,” Whitmer said. “These bipartisan bills are an important step in providing immediate relief for working families, but given the recent rise in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations in Michigan, I urge the legislature to take further action to make this permanent.
“Forty states, including all of our neighbors, automatically provide at least 26 weeks of unemployment relief. Michiganders deserve better than a short-term extension that expires at the end of the year. It’s time to work together on a long-term solution for working families.”
The legislature did not extend the governor’s efforts to speed up claim processing by allowing the Unemployment Insurance Agency to review only a claimant’s most recent employer separation. The UIA must now evaluate every job a worker has left in the past 18 months.
Since March 15, more than $25 billion in unemployment benefits have been paid to 2.2 million workers.