Michigan House GOP proposal offers $1,000 to get off unemployment

GOP proposal to get people off unemployment
Published: Apr. 28, 2021 at 6:44 PM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - Michigan House Republicans want to pay people who don’t have a job $1,000 to get off of unemployment benefits.

It’s part of the $12.7 billion COVID-19 relief spending proposal. The proposals are tied in with large amounts of funding for frontline workers and additional child care. The return to work grants would cover up to 400,000 Michigan residents.

Lansing-area business owners say unemployment benefits have made it really hard to find workers. People can make up to $362 per week on unemployment in Michigan.

Eastside Fish Fry owner Henry Meyer says he’s not getting nearly the amount of job applicants that he got before the pandemic hit.

“They ask me how much I’m going to pay them, they do that math, and they say ‘well I’m making more money on unemployment, I’ll call you back when it gets canceled.’'

Meyer has made a reputation as an employer that is willing to give people a second chance. But he says there aren’t even people to give a job to right now.

“Our pay is above minimum wage, we haven’t hired at minimum wage in years,” he adds.

Meyer says plenty of people apply but then don’t even show up for their interviews. He thinks there has to be something done to get people back to work. He thinks the GOP return to work grants would encourage people to find work.

“I absolutely think that would happen,” Meyer says. “I think there should probably be a timeframe attached to it, but I think it could be a really good way to motivate people to work.”

Goodfellas Bagel Deli co-owner Adrian Joseph is having a hard time finding workers too.

“We had a couple of hits, someone was supposed to come in a couple of weeks ago and they never showed up,” Joseph says.

Joseph says he offers more than minimum wage and a free meal during shifts. While frustrated, he says he gets why people aren’t lining up to work for him.

“I do understand it, he says. They’re making it easy for people to live unemployed.”

He doesn’t know how much this GOP proposal would really make a difference.

“A thousand bucks?” Joseph questions. “You’ve got to think how long it takes to run out of a thousand dollars. You pay a month’s rent and then what?”

The proposal advanced to the House floor today, but would still require a deal with Governor Gretchen Whitmer.

Copyright 2021 WILX. All rights reserved.

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