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Economy

Lawmakers Propose Unemployment Overhaul

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A bipartisan group of lawmakers has come up with plans to overhaul the state’s Unemployment Insurance Agency. As we hear from Michigan Public Radio’s Rick Pluta, they hope to stop a string of problems that led to thousands of people being wrongly accused of fraud.

An agency computer system erroneously said 37 thousand people collected benefits they weren’t entitled to.

State Representative Joe Graves says that revealed weaknesses in how the agency investigates fraud allegations, in letting people know they are under suspicion.

“Many times, they didn’t know they committed fraud, and many times they didn’t commit fraud.”

The bills would boost notification requirements, reduce penalties, and create a “watchdog” position. The “watchdog’s” job would be to investigate fraud allegations, and make sure the unemployment system is working the way it’s supposed to. 

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