Granholm to sign unemployment benefits extension

Lansing, MI – Lansing, MI (MPRN) - Governor Granholm is to sign legislation this morning that will extend unemployment payments for laid-off workers by seven weeks.

Michigan's jobless workers currently qualify for up to 18 months of benefits.

The federal stimulus package offers states with high unemployment rates more funds to extend those payments even further.

Michigan which has the nation's highest jobless rate - almost 12 percent.

Governor Granholm says Michigan will use the stimulus money to help laid-off workers.

The unemployment extension was approved by state lawmakers with bipartisan support.

But Republicans are expected to fight efforts to use stimulus funds to increase the size of the jobless payments.

They say that will force higher unemployment taxes onto Michigan businesses after the stimulus money runs out.