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Michigan's Republican governor, Rick Snyder, continued attacking unemployed Michigan residents as the year wound down, passing new measures to limit unemployment and harm low-wage workers while giving new tax breaks for corporations. His first move was to cut unemployment benefits from 26 weeks to 20 weeks maximum. Beyond that he also required many workers on unemployment to take work after 10 weeks, even if that ruined their career opportunities:
The measures require some unemployed workers to take new jobs after 10 weeks of benefits even if the available work is outside their previous experience or pays lower wages than they were making before. They also make it harder for someone to collect jobless benefits if they’re fired for cause or leave a job voluntarily.[...]
Snyder disagreed with critics who say requiring jobless workers to take a job paying 120 percent of their weekly benefit could trap them in a low-wage position by leaving them little time to look for work in their area of expertise.
“It’s to encourage people to work. It’s not to have them go backward,” Snyder said of the legislation. “It’s easiest to find a job when you’ve gotten a job.”
Michigan suffers from above average unemployment at 10.6 percent and Snyder's popularity has fallen to below 20 percent. With policies like these, it's not hard to see why:
While more than 1.5 million of his constituents faced poverty, Snyder enacted a $1.7 billion tax cut for corporations, or about “$30 in corporate tax cuts for every dollar saved in welfare benefit cuts.” Indeed, Snyder pushed to cut the state’s business taxes by nearly $2 billion, or 86 percent.