State Lawmakers Back In Action, Talking Tax Cuts And Hiring Parolees

Jan 8, 2014

The state Legislature is back in action after a four week break for the holidays.

We have more from The Michigan Public Radio Network’s Jake Neher.

One of the first pieces of legislation introduced in the new year seeks to reduce unemployment among parolees in Michigan. More than 70% of people recently released from prison are unemployed – and that number has been steadily rising for over a decade.

Republican state Representative Joe Haveman says the state needs to encourage employers to hire more parolees.

   “We’d like you to ask what a person’s qualifications are, not what their record is,” he says.

The legislation would limit liabilities for businesses that hire parolees. It also seeks to expand job training and certification programs for inmates.  Haveman says parolees with jobs are less likely to go back to prison, which saves taxpayers money.