House leader open to compensating unemployment recipients

Jan 12, 2018

LANSING, MI (AP)--   A legislative leader says he's open to establishing a compensation fund for thousands of people who were falsely accused of defrauding Michigan's unemployment system. 

Rep. Tom Leonard

Republican House Speaker Tom Leonard initially said Thursday the courts should decide compensation, which would have put him at odds with Republican Gov. Rick Snyder and others. A spokesman later clarified that Leonard misunderstood reporters' questions and opposes Democratic legislation to give victims damages for pain and suffering.

Their ability to sue has been in doubt since a lawsuit was tossed in July. An appeal is pending with the Michigan Supreme Court.

The Snyder administration has suggested providing more compensation for victims who were refunded penalties and interest but have faced other financial hardships.

To qualify, victims would have to agree not to sue the state.