Lawmaker calls on UIA’s response to coronavirus pandemic
State Rep. Mary Whiteford today led a rally at the state Capitol, calling on Michigan’s Unemployment Insurance Agency (UIA) to immediately help Michigan families.
The UIA’s response to COVID-19 has been anything but ideal, Whiteford said.
The agency has been unable to help tens of thousands of laid-off workers receive the unemployment benefits they deserve, and the agency has had repeated problems with its online claim filing system.
As a member of the appropriations committee, Whiteford made it clear: The responsibility for UIA lies with the director of the agency and the governor.
“The governor refused to work with the Legislature to appropriate taxpayer money, yet she had legislative authorization to $100 million of general fund and the authority to spend any federal covid-19 money,” Whiteford said. “Fortunately, the senate passed a bill to increase staffing at UIA. Unfortunately, this is three months after the initial state of emergency declaration. This bill is currently before the house.”
Whiteford was joined in the Capitol lawn by several other state representatives, all women, calling their group “Moms for Families.”
“It’s a pleasure and an honor serving Michigan families, and as mothers ourselves, we want parents in Michigan to know their voices and concerns matter,” Whiteford said. “So many families haven’t been able to get in touch with the unemployment agency, despite many attempted calls, and this is in no way acceptable. That is the reason we stand here today – to tell the department our families deserve better.”
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