LANSING — Legislation introduced today would take steps to make amends to the more than 44,000 people the state of Michigan wrongly accused of unemployment fraud, resulting in millions of dollars in fees, penalties and other financial damages to innocent Michigan families. In response, House Democratic Leader Sam Singh (D-East Lansing), issued the following statement: 

“The bills introduced by the bipartisan workgroup will help ensure this sort of disaster never occurs again. However, the legislation doesn’t go far enough to address the wrong already done to families the state falsely accused of fraud. Many families were denied unemployment benefits when receiving that income would have meant the difference between paying rent or being evicted, or keeping their home or losing it to foreclosure. Other families fell into bankruptcy because of the fees and penalties they were forced to pay. Until the state remediates all of the damage these families have suffered, we haven’t done our job. The House Democrats have offered legislation that would make these families whole, address security breaches in the state’s unemployment computer system and restore unemployment benefits to 26 weeks. It was a massive failure that led the state to falsely accuse more than 44,000 of fraud, and there should be an equally intensive effort to resolve those problems and ensure they never occur again.”