LANSING, Mich., Feb. 25, 2021 — Rep. Amos O’Neal (D-Saginaw) introduced House Bill 4340 today as part of House Democrats’ Hardworking Michiganders Recovery Plan, which will provide immediate relief for Michigan residents and help make sure no worker is left behind during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

“We have to restore our social safety net so that those struggling to make ends meet have the support they need to take care of themselves and their families,” O’Neal said. “That means expanding eligibility to cover underemployment or seasonal employment loss. We have been shown time and time again that some of the hardest working people in our communities are school employees. They are always there to ensure our students have a clean, safe, and healthy environment to learn in. It’s time we pay them back and ensure that when they can’t work because schools are closed, they have the resources they need.”

HB 4340 would allow low-wage school employees to collect unemployment benefits during the summer and winter break.

Other measures in the package include:

    • Increasing the weekly maximum for unemployment support from $362 to $593, and one year later restores indexing this figure to 58% of the state average weekly wage annually.
    • Restoring the number of benefit weeks from 20 weeks to 26 weeks, reversing the reduction to 20 weeks passed by legislative Republicans in 2012.
    • Increasing unemployment assistance from 4.1% to 6.1% of a worker’s highest quarter earnings.