LANSING, Mich. – Gov. Rick Snyder today signed legislation providing an alternative to employee layoffs by creating a voluntary work-share program, an initiative he called for in his December 2011 Special Message on Talent Development.
Senate Bill 1094, sponsored by state Sen. Bruce Caswell, encourages employers to maintain a skilled and talented work force by providing partial unemployment compensation to workers with reduced hours in times of economic hardship. The bill creates a hybrid plan to benefit all parties, allowing employees to collect unemployment benefits in proportion to their reduced hours and employers to retain talent.
“This new alternative plan will enable Michigan to keep its skilled and talented work force employed,” Snyder said. “By providing partial compensation to workers with reduced hours, we can support both families and businesses as we continue rebuilding our economy.”
The bill is now Public Act 216 of 2012.
The governor also signed six other bills.
S.B. 1104, sponsored by state Sen. Mark Jansen, simplifies the charitable gift withholding process on income taxes for certain types of non-corporation businesses. The bill now is P.A. 217.
S.B. 1106, sponsored by state Sen. Bruce Caswell, permits family-owned businesses to receive greater unemployment insurance benefits. Individuals laid off from a family business now are eligible to collect 20 weeks of benefits rather than the previous seven. The bill now is P.A. 218.
S.B. 1107, sponsored by state Sen. Jack Brandenburg, avoids unintended consequences of P.A. 269 of 2011 by temporarily requiring employers to wait only eight quarters of reporting no employee payroll to the Unemployment Insurance Agency before a new 2.7 percent tax rate can be applied, rather than the 12 quarters required in last year’s law. The bill now is P.A. 219.
H.B. 5340, sponsored by state Rep. Jud Gilbert, adjusts the interest rate paid by state or local government on refunds to individuals for overpayments. The higher interest rate will encourage local boards of review to more quickly settle taxpayer complaints. The increased rate also applies to individuals who owe money to state or local government for underpayments. The bill now is P.A. 220.
H.B. 5477, sponsored by state Rep. Wayne Schmidt, strengthens the 21st Century Jobs Fund to provide easier access to micro loans and reimbursement for startup costs. The Jobs Fund promotes growth and diversity in Michigan’s economy by investing in venture firms, university research and other contributors to economic growth. The bill now is P.A. 221.
H.B. 5646, also sponsored by Schmidt, exempts certain land reverted to the state land bank from some property taxes to promote the creation of jobs, investment and economic growth. The bill now is P.A. 222.