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Democratic gubernatorial candidate Mark Schauer, House Democratic Leader Tim Greimel and Senate Democratic Leader Gretchen Whitmer sent a letter to Gov. Rick Snyder, urging him to support an extension of unemployment insurance benefits.
On December 28, more than 43,000 Michiganders will lose their unemployment insurance coverage immediately. Democrats are calling on Snyder to contact Republican members of the Michigan delegation and urge them to support an extension of the Emergency Unemployment Compensation program.
"We need Gov. Snyder to get off the sidelines and urge Congressional Republicans to pass an immediate extension of unemployment benefits," said Schauer. "Allowing unemployment benefits to expire for more than 43,000 Michiganders will hurt families, hurt small business and hurt our economy. With the third highest unemployment rate in the nation, the time for action is now."
If an extension is not approved during the first six months of 2014, an additional 86,500 Michigan workers will lose their unemployment insurance benefits.
"Allowing unemployment benefits to expire is especially disturbing, considering that Michigan's unemployment rate continues to be well above average and the jobs that Gov. Rick Snyder and legislative Republicans promised have failed to materialize," said House Democratic Leader Tim Greimel (D-Auburn Hills). "Michigan was the first state in the nation to permanently cut unemployment benefits while further burdening middle class families and seniors by making them pay more in income tax in order to fund a massive tax break to corporations."
"It's unconscionable to think that tens of thousands of Michigan families have to worry about being cut off from their unemployment assistance during the holiday season and it's time for Gov. Snyder to demand solutions for them from the members of his own party," said Senate Democratic Leader Gretchen Whitmer (D-Lansing). "The governor's policies have failed to get these workers back on the job and not taking action now to prevent this avoidable disaster would simply be a failure of leadership. We cannot sit by and send these families and our state's economy into financial turmoil."
The average weekly benefit in Michigan is $293.92. This means that after benefits are cut off, in one week alone, Michigan will lose more than $12 million from our economy, hurting Michigan families, small businesses and communities.
The full text of the letter from Schauer, Greimel and Whitmer to Gov. Snyder follows.
Dear Governor Snyder,
In less than 10 days, more than 43,000 Michiganders will lose their unemployment insurance benefits when the Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) program expires on December 28. Since Michigan currently has the third highest unemployment rate in the nation, we are urging you to take immediate action by contacting members of Michigan's Congressional delegation and demanding they renew this critical program.
The average weekly benefit for unemployed workers in Michigan is $293.92. This means that after EUC is cut off, in one week alone, Michigan will lose more than $12 million from our economy - hurting Michigan families, small businesses, and communities.
Moreover, if Congress fails to act during the first six months of 2014, another 86,500 Michigan workers will lose their unemployment insurance benefits.
As Michigan's Governor, we believe you have a unique opportunity to influence House Energy and Commerce Chairman Fred Upton, and House Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp to do the right thing for Michigan's unemployed workers.
With more than 423,000 Michiganders still looking for work, we need our Governor to get off the sidelines and take action now to help save this critical lifeline as we work together to rebuild Michigan's economy.