Gov. Rick Snyder recently signed legislation authored by Rep. Dale Zorn that will allow the state to collect debts from lottery winners if they have been overpaid in unemployment benefits.
The bill requires the Michigan Bureau of Lottery to determine if anyone who wins over $1,000 in prize money owes money to the Unemployment Insurance Agency before paying out the winnings.
If an individual received unemployment benefits when they were not entitled to, or were wrongfully overpaid benefits, those benefits would have to be repaid before the individual received any of their lottery winnings.
"The taxpayers of Michigan have asked for efficiency and accountability from their state government," said Zorn. "This is one of the fixes we have made to the larger issue of making sure only those who are truly eligible for unemployment and welfare benefits receive them."
Before the unemployment agency can collect debt, the state first takes from the winnings any money owed for other state debt, such as past income tax payments, overdue child support, or payments owed to the court system.
The bill passed both the House and Senate unanimously with bipartisan support.