VanderWall issues statement on extension of unemployment benefits

LANSING, Mich. — After the state Senate on Thursday approved Senate Bill 604 to extend unemployment assistance to millions of out-of-work Michiganders through the spring of 2021, Sen. Curt VanderWall, R-Ludington, issued the following statement:

“During this unprecedented year, as many as one in four of our fellow Michiganders — our family, our neighbors, our friends — have been without a paycheck due to the actions of Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.

“The governor’s disappointing shutdowns of businesses have devastated families across our state. Bills have piled up on kitchen tables. Dreams of college or vacations or a great Christmas have been replaced by nightmares about not being able to pay mortgages.

“When announcing her latest shutdown in the midst of the holiday season, the governor said the state of Michigan was ‘too strapped’ to assist those affected by her actions. This is unacceptable.

“Our state should never be ‘too strapped’ to assist those who are suffering through no fault of their own.

“I am thankful the Senate adopted my substitute to this bill to extend unemployment assistance to Michiganders who need it into the spring of 2021.

“With this change, the bill will protect those who are out of work as well as victims of domestic abuse. For far too many Michiganders, the shutdowns have made already-volatile home lives even more threatening.

“Incidents of domestic violence have surged by 48% percent this year. One in four women and one in nine men have been victimized.

“No victim of abuse should be at risk of losing their assistance. This bill will make sure that doesn’t happen.”