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Whitmer signs bill to extend unemployment benefits to 26 weeks through 2020

"I urge the legislature to take further action to make this permanent."

LANSING, Mich. — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed two Senate bills Tuesday to expand unemployment benefits in Michigan. The legislation codifies part of her executive orders. 

The bills will extend unemployment benefits for Michiganders who lost work because of the COVID-19 pandemic from 20 weeks to 26 weeks through the end of 2020. 

“No Michigander should have to worry about how to put food on the table or pay their bills, especially during a global pandemic,” said Whitmer in a statement. “These bipartisan bills are an important step in providing immediate relief for working families, but given the recent rise in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations in Michigan, I urge the legislature to take further action to make this permanent. 40 states, including all of our neighbors, automatically provide at least 26 weeks of unemployment relief. Michiganders deserve better than a short-term extension that expires at the end of the year. It’s time to work together on a long-term solution for working families.”   

The bills signed Tuesday codified much of Whitmer's executive orders on unemployment. However, the governor is still calling on the legislature to take further action on unemployment, including changes to speed up the UIA's processing time and making the 26 weeks permanent. 

Senate bills 886 and 991 were both sponsored by Sen. Ken Horn (R-Frankenmuth).  

Since the beginning of the pandemic, the state has paid $25 billion in benefits to 2.2 million workers. 

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