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2011 House Bill 4408: Reduce future unemployment benefits

Public Act 14 of 2011

  1. Introduced by Rep. Jim Stamas (R) on March 9, 2011, to create an unemployment benefit system "Special Fraud Control" fund and require amounts recovered for unemployment insurance fraud violations to be deposited into it, to be used to pay for new fraud and overpayment prevention measures and software. The bill would also double the amount of damages that may be recovered for a second or subsequent fraud violation involving less than $500.
    • Referred to the House Commerce Committee on March 9, 2011.
      • Reported in the House on March 15, 2011, without amendment and with the recommendation that the bill pass.
    • Amendment offered by Rep. Vicki Barnett (D) on March 16, 2011, to require rather than allow the state unemployment benefit system to waive any interest on penalties imposed for unintentional false statements by a recipient. The amendment failed by voice vote in the House on March 16, 2011.
    • Substitute offered by Rep. Barb Byrum (D) on March 16, 2011, to replace the previous version of the bill with one that also extends certain unemployment benefits. The substitute failed by voice vote in the House on March 16, 2011.
  2. Passed 79 to 31 in the House on March 17, 2011.
    Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

  3. Received in the Senate on March 22, 2011.
    • Referred to the Senate Economic Development Committee on March 22, 2011.
      • Reported in the Senate on March 23, 2011, with the recommendation that the bill pass.
    • Amendment offered by Sen. Randy Richardville (R) on March 23, 2011, to use the bill as a "vehicle" to reduce the duration of future unemployment benefit payments, and provide a one-time 20 week extension of payments to current beneficiaries. The amendment passed by voice vote in the Senate on March 23, 2011.
    • Amendment offered by Sen. John Gleason (D) on March 23, 2011, to increase the amount of additional unemployment benefits paid for each dependent. The amendment failed 12 to 25 in the Senate on March 23, 2011.
      Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

    • Motion by Sen. Tupac Hunter (D) on March 23, 2011, that the question be divided and that a separate vote be taken amendment No. 2. The motion failed 12 to 25 in the Senate on March 23, 2011.
      Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

    • Amendment offered by Sen. John Gleason (D) on March 23, 2011, to add employer underpayments of unemployment insurance assessments (taxes) as another goal of the proposed anti-fraud measures. The amendment failed 13 to 24 in the Senate on March 23, 2011.
      Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

  4. Passed 24 to 13 in the Senate on March 23, 2011, to reduce from 26 weeks to 20 weeks the amount of time a laid off employee can collect state unemployment insurance (UI) benefits, beginning in 2012, which reportedly would save the system around $240 million annually. Michigan has borrowed $3.8 billion from the federal government to pay-out benefits boosted by higher unemployment and a 2002 law that boosted benefit levels; repaying the money imposes higher taxes on employers. The bill would also retroactively include current beneficiaries under a 20 week federal benefit extension (from 79 to 99 weeks), and use money recovered from fraud investigations to pay for new fraud and overpayment prevention measures and software.
    Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

  5. Received in the House on March 23, 2011.
    • Amendment offered by Rep. Barb Byrum (D) on March 23, 2011, to strip out the Senate-passed provision reducing from 26 weeks to 20 weeks the amount of time a laid off employee can collect state unemployment insurance (UI) benefits. The amendment failed by voice vote in the House on March 23, 2011.
    • Amendment offered by Rep. Brandon Dillon (D) on March 23, 2011, to limit the Senate-passed reduction in the duration of future unemployment benefits to times when the state unemployment rate is below 4 percent. The amendment failed by voice vote in the House on March 23, 2011.
    • Amendment offered by Rep. Jon Switalski (D) on March 23, 2011, to add employer underpayments of unemployment insurance assessments (taxes) as another goal of the proposed anti-fraud measures. The amendment failed by voice vote in the House on March 23, 2011.
  6. Passed 65 to 44 in the House on March 23, 2011, to reduce from 26 weeks to 20 weeks the amount of time a laid off employee can collect state unemployment insurance (UI) benefits, beginning in 2012, which reportedly would save the system around $240 million annually. Michigan has borrowed $3.8 billion from the federal government to pay-out benefits boosted by higher unemployment and a 2002 law that boosted benefit levels; repaying the money imposes higher taxes on employers. The bill would also retroactively include current beneficiaries under a 20 week federal benefit extension (from 79 to 99 weeks), and use money recovered from fraud investigations to pay for new fraud and overpayment prevention measures and software.
    Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

  7. Signed by Gov. Rick Snyder on March 28, 2011.

Comments

Re: 2011 House Bill 4408 (Increase unemployment benefit fraud damage penalties )  by cen20474 on April 1, 2011 

You SOB are reallity something. If you wanted to save the state money (All you have to do is go to part time Legislator) and the state would save Million of $$$$$$$$$$$$$ 



Re: 2011 House Bill 4408 (Increase unemployment benefit fraud damage penalties )  by Admin003 on March 23, 2011 


Senator Pappageorge's statement is as follows: 


 I would remind the previous speaker, maybe folks don't understand how this money works. Each individual 


business owner has an account with the feds and the state, and that business owner pays that money to the feds and 


to the state. We all understand that now? So when you suck money out of every one of the businesses in your 


district, don't ask them to be able to hire or keep more people. They can't do it if we keep sucking the money out of 


that business. Hello? Hello? This is not business versus workers. The only people who pay taxes are individuals. But 


we go out of our way--and have for years--to figure out how to have business collect the money for us. That's what 


is going on. 


 Every one of your businesses--let me say it again--every one of the businesses in your district are paying this bill. 


They need relief. The idea of some magic, federal money comes into the system, and therefore, allows people to buy 


things and businesses prosper is really misguided.  


 This bill extends benefits for 20 weeks. At the same time, it gives relief. Let me say that again: It gives relief to 


every business in your district, and if you're telling me the businesses in your district don't need that relief, I would 


say check again with your businesses. 




Re: 2011 House Bill 4408 (Increase unemployment benefit fraud damage penalties )  by Admin003 on March 23, 2011 


Senator Caswell's statement is as follows: 


 Small businesses are job creators, and over 80 percent of our jobs come from them. I ran into an individual who 


owns a factory in my district when I was campaigning. He spent over half of his personal fortune to keep his factory 


open and going. His comment to me was, "Bruce, these people I have working out here are my friends and 


neighbors, and I am going to do everything I can to make sure they continue to have a job." I have compassion for 


that kind of individual who is living the American Dream and doing everything he can in order to keep his people 


employed. 


 I ran into numerous, numerous small business owners who had spent their entire 401(k)s that was their retirement 


in order to keep their business open through the dark days to keep their friends and neighbors employed. They have 


nothing left for retirement. I have compassion for those people who have worked hard every day of their life and 


sacrificed everything when times got tough to keep their friends and neighbors employed. 


 I ran into a flower shop in one of my cities. I walked in and it was 60 degrees in that flower shop. They did not 


have money for heat. They were $3,000 behind in their rent, and the individual who owned the building said, "I will 


let you stay there as long as you keep people employed." And she did. I have compassion for those people who have 


done everything in their power to keep their businesses going and to keep people employed. The stories go on and 


on and on. Small businesses--the job creators--are our friends and neighbors. They employee our friends and 


neighbors. We have to understand that when they live the American Dream, we all live the American Dream. Hard 


work should be rewarded, and success should be rewarded. Each of us should praise those who create jobs and make 


the kind of sacrifices that I just mentioned to keep their friends and neighbors employed. I salute them.  


 Yes, there are a lot of things wrong with unemployment. I will tell you of one. One is that if you are a private 


business owner of a certain kind of business and you shut it down, even though you are required to pay 


unemployment on yourself--full unemployment--you get seven weeks of unemployment and that is it. Oh, you can 


also get a five-week extension, but you are expected to pay fully into the unemployment insurance fund. I have 


compassion for those people who have paid the full bill and can benefit very little from the unemployment insurance 


system. 


 God bless our small business owners, and may we make Michigan a state that you are proud to be in; that we 


welcome success, and we champion those who employ our friends and neighbors.




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