State Rep. Timothy Beson criticized Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s veto of legislation that would have helped local businesses across Michigan reopen, rebuild, and get back on their feet while emerging from restrictive COVID-19 measures.
House Bill 4434 would have removed an extra $300 per week in federal unemployment benefits, which is given out in addition to existing state financial benefits. The legislation was introduced after the Whitmer administration lifted the state’s remaining restrictions on gathering and masks on June 22. Beson said people are disincentivized to return to work if the federal benefit remains in place.
“As a small-business owner myself, I know just how hard our fifteen-month lockdown hit the business community across the state. Now, with the vaccine readily available and our entire economy reopening, people who lost their jobs due to entire industries shutting down once again have the chance to find gainful employment. But as long as the governor continues accepting federal dollars, there is nothing incentivizing people to work. Unfortunately, I have seen this firsthand in my own Bay City store, and I know I’m not alone.”
In a June survey conducted by the Small Business Association of Michigan, 47 percent of small-business owners said they have had difficulty finding and keeping employees as the state began dialing back wide-ranging pandemic restrictions.
“At Governor Whitmer’s orders, Michigan has, thankfully, returned to pre-pandemic normalcy throughout the past few weeks,” said Rep. Beson. “But her decision to continue accepting federal unemployment money doesn’t reflect that change. With workplaces being given the green light to reopen, workers should also be encouraged to get back into the labor force. The governor’s executive orders really hurt small-business owners, and by refusing to turn away federal money, it is clear supporting them was never a priority. I urge the governor to reevaluate her stance on this issue, otherwise small businesses across Michigan could close their doors for good.”
Rep. Beson says the pandemic unemployment benefit, which continues through September, has an unintended consequence of dividing people and argues government should incentivize individuals who have been working.
Rep. Beson talks about House passage Wednesday of the Unlock Michigan citizens’ initiative repealing the Emergency Powers of Governor Act of 1945 (EPGA), which the Governor used to issue restrictions unilaterally during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Michigan Supreme Court ruled the EPGA unconstitutional in October 2020.
State Rep. Timothy Beson today voted with a majority of House legislators to repeal an unconstitutional law Gov. Gretchen Whitmer used to impose harsh restrictions on the people of Michigan during the COVID-19 pandemic.
State Rep. Timothy Beson, of Bay City, on Thursday joined fellow legislators to approve a budget plan for the upcoming fiscal year, which includes a landmark plan to close the education funding gap for K-12 school districts.