House Democrats have also introduced a legislative package that would dramatically increase unemployment benefits, increase employer penalties and provide payments to tens of thousands of claimants who are in active litigation with the state over an incident which led to false determinations of UI fraud. The unemployment system is entirely funded with employer tax contributions, so these bills present the potential for a significant increase in employer UI tax liability. While House Commerce and Tourism Committee Chair Steve Marino has made clear that the bills will see no action in his committee, MMA will stay vigilant against these detrimental bills.
House Bills 4894-4903 would:
- More than triple the weekly UI dependent allowance and increase the number of dependents that can be claimed
- Increase the maximum weekly benefit by nearly 50%
- Double penalties on employers for unpaid UI contributions to 100% of the total amount of deficiency from 50%
- Require an annual report to the Legislature on delinquent employer contributions
- Decrease the percentage of wages permitted to be garnished for restitution of improperly collected benefits to 20% from 50%
- Prohibit a determination of improperly paid benefits until a claimant has had a hearing or has expressly waved that right
- Modify the statute of limitations for all cases of fraud from 2007 through 2016
- Reserve funds in the Unemployment Contingent Fund for payments to claimants in active litigation with the state over auto-adjudicated claims
- Permit unemployment benefits to be deducted for income tax purposes
MMA will continue to fight for competitive employment regulations in Michigan. Please contact MMA's Delaney McKinley regarding this or any other matter.