Michigan Legislature Digs Into Unemployment Quagmire
About 1.7 million Michigan residents are being kept away from their businesses and jobs because of the ongoing virus shutdown imposed by Democratic Governor Gretchen Whitmer. Getting unemployment benefits has worked OK for most. But thousands around the state are caught up in a benefits registration and processing quagmire. Unemployment Insurance Agency Director Steve Gray admits to serious problems while testifying before a state legislative oversight committee. Gray is revealing that about 134,000 who have filed claims have yet to receive payments. Gray also admits the agency is only able to handle about 5,000 of the 150,000 phone calls it gets each day from state residents who need help. State lawmakers hearing that information went through the roof.
The select committee is chaired by Calhoun County Republican State Representative Matt Hall. He will gavel another committee hearing into action later today in Lansing. It will look deeper into how the Whitmer Administration has been handling the virus shutdown. Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity Director Jeff Donofrio is set to appear before the panel. Representative Hall says it’s an opportunity to see how two critical state departments are either helping each other serve the state’s residents, or not. The committee is also expecting to hear directly from some state residents who’ve had terrible experiences trying to get the help they need.