Speaker: Leave payments for unemployment victims to courts

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — A top legislative leader is opposed for now to establishing a compensation fund for thousands of people who were falsely accused of defrauding Michigan’s unemployment system.

Republican House Speaker Tom Leonard said Thursday the courts should decide compensation, putting him at odds with Republican Gov. Rick Snyder and others.

Victims’ ability to sue has been in doubt since the state appeals court tossed the suit, saying plaintiffs waited too long to sue. An appeal is at the Supreme Court.

Leonard says he won’t consider a compensation fund until the litigation is done, but he’d “love to see those individuals made whole.”

Legislators in December enacted changes to the troubled Unemployment Insurance Agency, but stopped short of compensating victims who were refunded penalties and interest but have faced other financial hardships.

FOX 17 Problem Solvers have been following the UIA issues for nearly three years. For more, visit the Problem Solvers page and search ‘unemployment’.

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