LANSING, Mich., March 29 (UPI) -- Gov. Rick Snyder signed a law Monday that lets Michigan's jobless take advantage of federal extended benefits while cutting future state jobless benefits.
About 35,000 state residents will now be eligible for as much as 20 weeks more of unemployment benefits, the Detroit Free Press reported. The extended benefits were to expire in Michigan April 2.
Snyder, in a prepared statement on the bill, called unemployment benefits a "lifeline for many Michigan families who are struggling in this challenging economy." He did not talk about the other provision in the law, which reduces the maximum period for collecting unemployment from 26 weeks to 20.
The cut in the duration of unemployment was backed by Republicans, who argued it would bring jobs to the state by making it less expensive for employers to do business in Michigan. Democrats were critical.
"In signing this bill, the governor has tried to distract Michiganders from the full story, seeking to portray legislation that includes a drastic and permanent cut as a 'protection' for the unemployed," U.S. Rep. Sander Levin, D-Mich., said.