You are hereSenate Republicans continue selective rejection of Snyder agenda

Senate Republicans continue selective rejection of Snyder agenda

By Robert McCann, Michigan Senate Democratic Caucus
Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Senate Democrats gave their Republican counterparts yet another opportunity to support Governor Snyder’s work-sharing proposal today, and the Senate majority again failed to support their own Governor’s plan that would keep people on the job.

As the Senate worked into the evening to finalize Senate Bill 806 that would make detrimental alterations to the state’s Unemployment Insurance system, Senator Vincent Gregory (D-Southfield) offered an amendment that would implement the Governor’s work-sharing program for qualifying employers in Michigan that he touted in a special message earlier this month. Gregory offered a similar amendment when SB 806 was first voted out on December 1st, and both times they were defeated by the Republican majority.

“We seem to have a situation where the Senate Republicans are wagging the dog, refusing to support the Governor’s economic policies while he blindly follows them in supporting divisive, radical social issues,” said Senate Democratic Leader Gretchen Whitmer (D-East Lansing).

“Governor Snyder has been quick to support some of the Senate Democrats’ practical economic proposals including this work sharing proposal, and it’s too bad the Senate Republicans can’t reach some rational high ground to help Michigan workers.”

Senator Gregory introduced Senate Bill 697 in September to create a work-sharing program for qualifying employers in Michigan that would allow for the payment of unemployment benefits to individuals whose wages and hours have been reduced.

This would allow part-time employees to collect unemployment benefits and companies to retain multiple employees rather than letting them go as a temporary and practical alternative to layoffs. Gregory’s amendment to Senate Bill 806 offered today mirrored the language of SB 697.

“Well, at least they’re consistent: From the first day of the 2011 Senate session to the last, Senate Republicans have remained steadfast in their opposition to helping Michigan workers,” said Senator Gregory.

“This work-sharing proposal is sound, reasonable policy that helps workers and employers alike, and it’s unfortunate that we couldn’t reach a compromise on this and head into the holidays with some peace and goodwill towards men.”

Governor Rick Snyder issued a special message on talent development to the Michigan Legislature on December 1st. One of the platforms the Governor cited in his message for restoring Michigan’s economy was work-sharing, which keeps workers on the job in conjunction with receiving unemployment benefits when their wages or hours are reduced.

Despite the Governor’s call for action, the Senate Republicans opposed today’s move to put his plan into action.