MI Senate debates extended jobless payments

LANSING, MI – State Senate Democrats made a failed attempt Wednesday to force a vote on extending jobless benefits to laid-off part-time workers and unemployed people in training programs.

Governor Granholm has called for the bills, which would initially be paid for with federal stimulus funds.

State Senate Democratic Leader Mike Prusi said the Senate should act before beginning a two-week break.

"These bills have sat long enough," he said. "Thousands of people are going without unemployment benefits because we refuse to act in this chamber, and I think now is the time to act before the we break for the summer, before we let these families go without the unemployment benefits that support them and support their children."

Republicans say it would eventually be up to businesses to pay the millions of dollars the additional benefits would cost.