LANSING — House Democrats unveiled a plan today to strengthen unemployment protections and restore benefits, allowing Michiganders to focus on finding a new job without worrying about how they’re going to pay bills or put food on the table. The package of bills focuses on improving the Unemployment Insurance Agency (UIA) system so it can handle a forecasted recession, ensuring accountability for employers not paying their UIA tax, and making whole those falsely accused of fraud. In response, state Rep. Tim Sneller (D-Burton), whose House Bill 4899 would lower wage garnishment from 50 percent to 20 percent for individuals paying back benefits they were mistakenly given, issued the following statement:

“I’m proud to be part of a package of bills that strengthens Michigan’s unemployment protections and improves the Unemployment Insurance Agency system. My bill would lower the amount of wages garnished from 50 percent to 20 percent so that people can still provide for themselves and their families when benefits are improperly collected and restitution is being determined. The current 50 percent wage garnishment rate unfairly penalizes workers who lost their job through no fault of their own, and are simply trying to find the next employment opportunity. Lowering the rate to 20 percent would help ensure Michiganders don’t find themselves in financial trouble during the restitution process and protects them from wrongful accusations of fraud.”