LANSING, Mich. — Republican legislators in Michigan's House unveiled legislation Tuesday afternoon to "reform" what they describe as the state's "failing Unemployment Insurance Agency."
Rep. Steve Johnson, chair of the House Oversight Committee, has criticized recent issues with the UIA during the pandemic.
“As chair of the House Oversight Committee, I have heard from many people who have been misled and failed by a clear pattern of gross incompetence,” Johnson said. “It’s important to take the next step and develop solutions that will ensure an agency that operates more effectively going forward. Many people have gone through a great deal of hardship due to COVID-19 and executive orders in response. They needed UIA to assist them in a time of need and unfortunately the agency did not come through for them when its chief responsibility is to serve the people. That cannot happen again.”
Watch the press conference here:
The reforms are meant to improve the agency’s efficiency and provide better customer service for Michiganders.
The multi-bill package, which is expected to be formally introduced this week on the House floor, includes:
- A consistent and accelerated review process requiring UIA to complete reviews and determinations within 10 business days
- Trimming the current three-year look back period to one year, giving jobless claimants and job providers more certainty going forward
- An independent citizens’ advocate to serve as a point of contact for families who need help getting jobless benefits
- More communication with state government, requiring UIA to provide accurate and timely data regarding the status of the agency’s trust fund