Michigan unemployment agency called “bureaucratic weed”

A notable Michigan publication calls for a complete overhaul of the Michigan Unemployment Insurance Agency. The Traverse City Record-Eagle serves a wide readership. An editorial published by the media ends with the assessment that, “Maybe it’s time to uproot this bureaucratic weed and plant again.”

Before that last line, the Record-Eagle traces the agency’s truly sad history, stretching back to several administrations, and not just to what happened under the leadership of Democratic Governor Gretchen Whitmer. UIA blunders dating back to the start of the COVID-19 virus outbreak have unquestionably left tens of thousands of Michigan residents wondering how top government officials could have let things fall to the depths we have seen since last spring.

Use of the term by publication, “Incompetent bureaucracy” connected to the UIA comes at a time when a state legislative committee is opening a full review of the agency. Wayland Republican State Representative Steve Johnson chairs the State House Oversight Committee. He announced a top-down review of the UIA by the Oversight Committee. While the investigation is underway, it really won’t be shifted into high gear until the legislature returns to work after the summer recess.

One of the triggering issues is the latest and monumental crisis surrounding the agency. Due to his own faulty application of federal guidelines, he is now telling hundreds of thousands of state residents that they could be forced to repay the benefits they received from the agency.

State Representative John Damoose tells the agency to suck him up and fix his self-created problem. He says the UIA doesn’t have to try to impose another problem on state residents who have been granted unemployment benefits in good faith based on guidelines the agency has told them to follow.

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