Michigan Gov. Whitmer signs bills extending unemployment benefits until end of year

Bills codify part of orders, extending benefits for 6 more weeks

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signing Senate Bills 886 and 991 on Oct. 20, 2020, to extend unemployment benefits. (WDIV)

LANSING, Mich. – Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has signed bills that extend unemployment benefits for residents who have lost work due to COVID-19 until the end of the year.

Senate Bills 886 and 991 codify part of Whitmer’s orders that expanded unemployment benefits to Michiganders. The bills were sponsored by Sen. Ken Horn (R-Frankenmuth).

READ: Emergency stay-in-place order issued for University of Michigan students to stop COVID-19 spread

“No Michigander should have to worry about how to put food on the table or pay their bills, especially during a global pandemic,” Whitmer said. “These bipartisan bills are an important step in providing immediate relief for working families, but given the recent rise in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations in Michigan, I urge the legislature to take further action to make this permanent. Forty states, including all of our neighbors, automatically provide at least 26 weeks of unemployment relief. Michiganders deserve better than a short-term extension that expires at the end of the year. It’s time to work together on a long-term solution for working families.”

The bills signed Tuesday codify the majority of the governor’s executive orders on unemployment, but the legislature didn’t approve allowing UIA to review only a claimant’s most recent employer separation.

“When we get back to session I look forward to taking up our bills to expand unemployment benefits and create stronger pathways to get Michigan families the resources they need during a pandemic,” said Rep. Darrin Camilleri (D-Brownstown).

Since March 15, the state has paid more than $25 billion in benefits to 2.2 million workers. Michigan was one of the first states to begin issuing the additional $600 pandemic benefit from the U.S. government.

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Derick is the Lead Digital Editor for ClickOnDetroit and has been with Local 4 News since April 2013. Derick specializes in breaking news, crime and local sports.