Rep. Shane Hernandez – chair of the Michigan House Appropriations Committee – issued the following statement in response to Gov. Whitmer’s claims that unemployment filing systems have been “underfunded” in the state:
“If the governor thinks the Unemployment Insurance Agency is underfunded, and she’s looking to cast blame, she should look in a mirror. The Legislature allocated every dime for UIA that the governor asked for in the current budget year. And for the budget year that begins next October, the governor is actually asking for over $1 million less than the current year for normal operations.
“Meanwhile, the governor managed to carve out millions for new programs and projects all while proposing a cut for local sheriffs, the UIA and other far more important services. The governor needs to get her priorities straight.
“The Legislature has approved money – $150 million overall – to support emergency responses during the COVID-19 crisis. The governor could use a portion of this money to boost capacity and fix the failing unemployment filing system.
“As I have said, I am ready and willing to work with the governor to address the issues preventing unemployed Michiganders from getting the help they need in this time of crisis. To date, no one with the administration has reached out to me on this issue.”