Graves says unemployment reform protects state from fraud

Categories: Graves News,News

Lawmaker votes for legislative package

State Rep. Joseph Graves today applauded passage of a package of bills that reforms Michigan’s unemployment insurance process, including a measure that denies benefits to a worker who fails or refuses to take a drug test as a condition of employment.

The House today passed House Bills 4949-4954 dealing with a variety of unemployment reform issues. HB 4952 establishes a pilot program that treats a positive drug test or refusal to take a drug test without good cause as a refusal of suitable employment, which disqualifies an individual from receiving unemployment benefits.

“It’s really very simple. People who are receiving benefits must be able and available for work, and if workers can’t pass drug tests, they are not available for work,” said Graves, R-Argentine Township, who worked for the Unemployment Insurance Agency after he served in the military. “One of our legislative priorities has been to put people back to work so we can have a healthier economy. Fraud and abuse of the unemployment system hurts all Michigan taxpayers.”

Graves said studies indicate 10 percent of unemployment benefits in Michigan are misappropriated, and the package of bills will help reduce that amount by making the system more efficient and effective.

“This is a continuation of making state government more accountable and transparent and protecting the hard-working taxpayers in Michigan,” Graves said. “We are focused on preserving the integrity of the unemployment insurance program to ensure careful stewardship of payments.”

The bills now go to the Senate for consideration.