Lawmakers eye bonds to pay off unemployment compensation debt

By ALEX MITCHELL
Capitol News Service
LANSING— An employee on unemployment is a dent in a company’s finances that never goes away, according to small business owners. “My payments go up every time someone files for unemployment,” said Mick Raich, president of Vachette Pathology in Blissfield. Such dents have Michigan lawmakers scrambling to pay Michigan’s $3.1 billion federal unemployment insurance debt. The amount is second only to what California owes and is the largest one per capita in the nation. “Kicking the can down the road is no longer a viable option, and while there are no silver bullets to resolve the current crisis, doing nothing is a very expensive option,” Wendy Block, director of health policy and human resources for the Michigan Chamber of Commerce, testified at a recent Senate Finance Committee meeting.