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House Dems call Senate to take action on unemployment bills

By Laura Weber, Michigan Public Radio Network

LANSING, MI – State House Democrats are urging the Republican-controlled Senate to extend unemployment benefits. They say Michigan's 15% jobless rate shows it is time to act.

Legislation passed by the House would provide $138 million in federal stimulus for some unemployed workers completing job training programs. But business groups say that would create new unemployment taxes and financial strain on small businesses.

State Representative Mark Meadows says the businesses would benefit from the stimulus money.

"Every dollar of this $138 million will go directly back into the Michigan economy supporting small businesses and large businesses across the state of Michigan," he says. "They should be very happy that we have the opportunity to put this money into the economy because that is what will support these businesses as time goes on."

Republican and Democratic senators have been unable to reach consensus on unemployment issues.

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