• The recent Michigan Supreme Court ruling — decided by a narrow majority of Republican justices — has created chaos and vast uncertainty in the state’s ongoing COVID-19 response efforts, including jeopardizing unemployment benefits for up to 830,000 Michiganders.
  • Following months of political theater, Republican legislative leaders continue to abdicate their responsibilities through inaction and a lack of urgency regarding the health risks and severe economic challenges faced by Michiganders due to the public health crisis. Without a response plan or command of the essential COVID-19 data, Republican leadership is planning to negotiate with Governor Whitmer when Michiganders need decisive and compassionate leadership.
  • Numerous legislative bills have been introduced to codify Governor Whitmer’s Executive Order 76-2020 related to unemployment benefits that will ensure Michiganders have the resources required to help address COVID-19 related challenges, including job loss, housing threats and other critical needs that become more urgent every day.

LANSING, Mich., Oct. 6, 2020, — Throughout the COVID-19 public health crisis, Republican legislative leaders have opted to remain on the sidelines regarding the state’s pandemic response to pursue their partisan political agenda. As the Republican’s political antics have created significant chaos and uncertainty in the state’s pandemic response, Michigan House Democrats are calling on the Republican leadership to immediately convene session, swiftly enact the necessary legislation to save Michiganders’ lives and safeguard the state’s economic recovery.

Based on recent media reports, Republican legislative leaders continue to abdicate their responsibility, jeopardize Michiganders’ lives and the state’s economic recovery with inaction, a lack of urgency or response plan. Yet, not only have the Republican leaders not offered a course of action or response plan, they’ve recently made it clear that they have no intention to do so while telling Michiganders they just need to ‘learn to live with’ watching their family members, friends and neighbors across the state die.

“With Michigan COVID-19 cases approaching 130,000, nearly 7,000 lives lost and up to 830,000 Michiganders facing an immediate end of their unemployment benefits, our Republican colleagues still refuse to pass critical legislation, support face coverings and other life-saving measures or provide vital resources Michiganders urgently need,” said House Democratic Leader Christine Greig (D-Farmington Hills). “As we continue to grapple with this global pandemic, the chaos and disruption in our response efforts are reprehensible. It’s past time for Republican leaders to put Michiganders first rather than their partisan political agenda because lives are at risk.”

With the disruption of the state’s pandemic response, the unemployment benefits for up to 830,000 Michiganders may be immediately lost. Michigan House Democrats have introduced legislative bills that codify parts of Governor Whitmer’s Executive Order 76-2020 to ensure Michiganders receive the unemployment benefits they need.

  • HB 4894 (LASINSKI) – Restores permanently the maximum benefit week duration to 26, removes the $362 cap (the weekly maximum rate) on dependents, increases the number of allowable dependents from 5 to 6, and increases the amount an unemployed worker receives per dependent from $6 to $20. Introduced Sept. 3, 2019.
  • HB 6282 (ELDER) – Extends the benefit duration to 26 weeks, provides an additional 26 weeks in a state extension, and increases the maximum rate to $603, the number of dependents, and the amount per dependent during a state declared emergency. Introduced Sept. 29, 2020.
  • HB 5889 (SABO) – Ensures that only the separating employer will be used to determine a non-monetary disqualification for benefits to prevent previous employers from disqualifying hard-working Michiganders, who found themselves unemployed through no fault of their own. Introduced June 23, 2020.
  • HB 5882 (RABHI) – Allows workers to collect unemployment benefits during a state declared emergency concerning an infectious disease so that Michigan workers can stay at home to care for their kids if the schools close, or to care for an ill or infected family member, or need to quarantine, self-quarantine, or self-isolate themselves because they are immunocompromised, sick, or exposed to a sick person; and, waives the work registration and work search requirements. Introduced June 23, 2020.

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