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Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder is taking advantage of the worst economic recession since the Great Depression to impose new taxes on seniors, cut unemployment insurance for laid-off workers and gut education funding by nearly $800 million.
And, thanks to the governor and Republican state legislators, Michigan is now the only state in the union that will provide fewer than 26 weeks of benefits to workers who are unemployed. On March 28, Snyder signed into law a bill that cuts the maximum number of weeks Michigan’s laid-off workers can receive unemployment insurance from 26 weeks to 20 weeks.
“Governor Snyder and Republicans in Lansing should be working to create jobs and revive our state’s economy, but that clearly is not their agenda,” said UAW President Bob King. “At the very least they should keep in place protections for people who are out of work through no fault of their own.”
King also said the governor’s proposed budget will cause deep hardship for working and middle class families.
“Gov. Snyder should require CEOs to share in the sacrifice to move Michigan forward,” said King. “Instead, he is giving them a $1.8 billion tax cut at the expense of our seniors, children and working families.”
Snyder’s proposed budget will:
All to pay for a massive $1.8 billion in tax breaks for corporations.
No surprise then that these budget cuts are backed by big energy companies and the secretive billionaire Koch brothers. They are the same forces that pushed the union-busting efforts in Wisconsin. Koch Enterprises has spent more than $1 billion lobbying politicians in Lansing. In fact, the head of their Michigan group said their group’s goal was to “take the unions out at their knees.”
"This is not what we the people of Michigan need,” said King. “It’s just more political payback and partisan games. It’s time to work together to stop the power struggles in Lansing, focus on improving our economy and creating quality jobs for working and middle class families.”
Michigan residents are delivering that message at “People’s Town Halls” this week and next, highlighting the fact that the GOP legislature is out of town and out of touch.
And a rally is planned for April 13 at the state Capitol. Watch for e-mails from UAWire and GimmeFIVE, and check back here for more details.