State Can't Afford Costly Unemployment Expansion Passed by Michigan House, Says Michigan Chamber

The Democrat-controlled Michigan House of Representatives today passed legislation to permanently expand Michigan's 100 percent employer-financed unemployment system in an effort to accept one-time dollars from the federal government (HBs 4785-86). Representatives of the Michigan Chamber of Commerce today issued the following statements in response to that action:

Statement from Wendy Block, Director of Health Policy & Human Resources:

"Today, House Republicans stood with Michigan businesses in support of job creation and retention while House Democrats pushed through a job-killing proposal (HBs 4785-86) to increase unemployment insurance taxes on Michigan employers at a time when they can least afford it."

"House Democrats took the easy and short-sighted route to $138 million in one-time federal money, while turning their backs on the job providers who will be left to foot the bill of the $69.7 million per-year expansion of the 100 percent employer-financed unemployment insurance system."

"The Democrats' action today will permanently increase costs and further strain the unemployment system and the ability of the state to fulfill its commitment to those who are currently eligible for unemployment benefits."

Statement from Jim Holcomb, Vice President of Business Advocacy & Associate General Counsel:

"While we recognize the appeal of money is alluring, the federal funding that is currently on the table is not a 'gift' from Congress."

"The recession is a national issue and the Obama administration and Congress should immediately distribute funds to Michigan without economically damaging special conditions and help the state deal with its highest-in-the-nation unemployment rate."

The Michigan Chamber of Commerce is celebrating its 50th year as a statewide business organization and represents about 7,000 employers, trade associations and local chambers of commerce. The Michigan Chamber was established in 1959 to be an advocate for Michigan's job providers in the legislative, political and legal process. It is only one of four state chambers of commerce in the nation accredited by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

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SOURCE: Michigan Chamber of Commerce

CONTACT: Wendy Block, Michigan Chamber of Commerce, +1-517-371-7678, or
+1-517-927-5135 (cell)

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