LANSING, Mich., August 21, 2020 — Gov. Whitmer announced today that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) granted her recent request for funding for additional unemployment benefits, following Congress’ inaction on extending federal support. The funds will be used to provide at least $300 per week to the over 900,000 Michigan residents still receiving unemployment. Following the announcement, state Rep. Angela Witwer (Delta Township), who sponsored a bill in the House Democrat’s recent unemployment benefits expansion package, issued the following statement:
“Never before have we seen unemployment rates this high; families all across the state are hurting. And although those record numbers are beginning to slowly take a turn for the better, there is still no real end in sight for far too many. I have been fighting for increased benefits since long before this crisis because we recognized that existing benefits simply are not extensive enough to keep families on their feet, and I am happy to have Gov. Whitmer joining us in that endeavor at a time when our communities need it most. My colleagues and I remain committed to doing all we can to help ensure everyone has what they need to provide for their families during these difficult times.”
House Democrats introduced their unemployment benefits expansion package in late June. The eight-bill package focuses on fixing various shortcomings in Michigan’s unemployment system by expanding benefits and eligibility as part of their Michigan Strong Plan. The package has still not been taken up in committee.