House Oversight Committee Chair Steve Johnson (R-Wayland) today issued the following statement after the committee heard testimony from state Unemployment Insurance Agency Director Liza Estlund Olson:
“Based on today’s testimony, there’s obviously a clear and concerning pattern of failure in leadership at the agency. That pattern has led to distrust and frustration among many people we represent. UIA is a bureaucratic mess with no accountability to the people it’s tasked with helping.
“This has led to avoidable mistakes that have caused people unneeded stress and anxiety – like hundreds of thousands of people across the state receiving letters out of the blue saying they may owe unemployment benefit money back due to a state error.
“At various points in our hearing, Director Olson attempted to shift responsibility for these issues. She mentioned the federal government’s role in this as well as the Legislature’s need to provide funding for 500 more workers. When the federal government informed UIA of its monitoring report findings and what the agency needed to remedy, Director Olson said she didn’t need to attend because she has staffers who could do that. These actions do not meet the definition of a leader – and many people I talk to who have experienced problems with UIA agree.
“For functionality to improve, accountability must start at the top. Otherwise, I worry these past breakdowns in effectiveness run the risk of being repeated.”
House Oversight Committee Chair Steve Johnson (R-Wayland) today issued the following statement after it was announced that Julia Dale, director of the Department of Technology, Management and Budget, will replace acting director Liza Estlund Olson and serve as the director of the Unemployment Insurance Agency: “I recently called on the removal of the acting director […]
House Oversight Committee Chairman Steve Johnson (R-Wayland) today said a committee hearing on elevated lead levels in Benton Harbor’s drinking water illuminated serious safety concerns for the community while the governor’s administration ignored pleas from city officials for more funding to help fix the problem.
House Oversight Committee Chairman Steve Johnson (R-Wayland) today said an update from the Office of the Auditor General on unreported COVID-19 deaths due to COVID-19 creates more questions going forward.
House Oversight Committee Chair Rep. Steve Johnson talks about Thursday’s committee meeting that heard from Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy Director Liesl Clark and Benton Harbor Mayor Marcus Muhammad on Benton Harbor’s lead-contaminated water. Rep. Johnson says he was concerned that it was only at the committee meeting that state officials said Benton […]