LANSING, Mich. — Senator Steve Bieda (D–Warren) issued the following statement on House and Senate Democrats’ plan to overhaul the Unemployment Insurance Agency, and repair unemployment benefits:

“Michigan families have been hit with a double whammy after the Unemployment Insurance Agency falsely accused 40,000 unemployed people of fraud, and then those families were penalized and assessed fees for legally claiming those funds. Of course, we want to protect our state from fraud, but the Unemployment Insurance Agency allowed this failed electronic system to run amuck without frequent human oversight.

“One of the most frustrating things for Michigan families who were facing an uncertain financial future is that our state allowed a system – which was meant to protect them – to cause irreparable harm. This scandal has brought a broader issue to the forefront. Not only do we need to repair a broken system, we need to create a more transparent and accountable system that treats Michiganders as people, not numbers.”