Outman supports measure to end federal unemployment benefits

LANSING, Mich. — State Sen. Rick Outman on Thursday voted in favor of legislation that would end enhanced federal unemployment payments in the state.

“My district is full of help wanted signs,” said Outman, R-Six Lakes. “Small businesses across the state have been forced through enough hoops and have struggled to stay afloat. We’ve reached a point where businesses are competing against government-issued checks. This is not a sustainable or responsible economic model.”

In addition to ending enhanced federal unemployment payments, House Bill 4434 would also require the state Unemployment Insurance Agency to improve its communication with those seeking jobless assistance after the disaster many experienced last year filing claims and receiving assistance.

The bill would require the UIA to use plain language whether in print, electronic, or other formats in correspondence and documents related to the taxes or reimbursing charges of employers and the benefits of individuals, as well as in references or citations to UIA policies or rules sent to or used by a claimant or employer.

Outman noted the recent bipartisan passage of Senate Bill 501, which would revise current law to require that an unemployed individual register for work at a Michigan Works! agency after applying for unemployment to be eligible to receive benefits.

“In addition to the endless list of job openings across the state, we’ve also funded several programs that are meant to remove barriers to employment and assist people in improving their skillsets and advance their careers,” Outman said. Prior to COVID-19, Michigan’s economy was thriving — it’s time we get back on that road and get people back to work.”

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