In Michigan
4:44 pm
Mon December 19, 2011

Sndyer signs limits to unemployment benefits, payments to injured workers

LANSING, MI –

Governor Rick Snyder has signed measures that he says will save businesses money on unemployment and workers' compensation costs. But, as we hear from Michigan Public Radio's Rick Pluta, critics say the measures unnecessarily penalize people who can't find new jobs in a tough economy.

The new laws will make it harder for people who have voluntarily quit a job or been fired for cause to collect unemployment. The measures will also allow insurance companies to reduce workers' compensation payments if they determine the injured employee could hold some other type of job. Governor Snyder says the changes make sense as Michigan tries to help employers save money that can be used to hire people.

"Cause it's about helping people get back to work," he says.

The laws will also allow Michigan to sell bonds to repay big loans it got from the federal government to cover unemployment benefits over the past several years. The governor says that will save taxpayers and employers many millions of dollars in interest and penalties.

Democrats say the new restrictions will penalize workers who are struggling in a tough economy through no fault of their own.