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Michigan Lawmakers Starting To Plan Ways To Help Furloughed Federal Employees

J Sonder

Lawmakers in Lansing are contemplating ways to help furloughed federal employees get by until the government reopens.  There are thousands of federal employees in Michigan that haven’t been paid since December.

There’s no specific proposals yet.  But the Speaker of the House is collecting ideas and wants to see what options are available.  Over in the state Senate, it’s a similar situation.  

Republican Majority Leader Mike Shirkey was asked if the state can do anything about things like food stamps and unemployment benefits for the federal employees not being paid:

“We’re evaluating all those options. Kind of watching it as it progresses to see at what level does it reach critical mass. But right now, we’re just in evaluation process.”

Governor Gretchen Whitmer recently called on the federal government to allow for states to offer unemployment benefits for those that are still working but not getting paid.

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—Cheyna Roth is a reporter for the Michigan Public Radio network.  Contact WEMU News at 734.487.3363 or email us at

Before becoming the newest Capitol reporter for the Michigan Public Radio Network, Cheyna Roth was an attorney. She spent her days fighting it out in court as an assistant prosecuting attorney for Ionia County. Eventually, Cheyna took her investigative and interview skills and moved on to journalism. She got her masters at Michigan State University and was a documentary filmmaker, podcaster, and freelance writer before finding her home with NPR. Very soon after joining MPRN, Cheyna started covering the 2016 presidential election, chasing after Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, and all their surrogates as they duked it out for Michigan. Cheyna also focuses on the Legislature and criminal justice issues for MPRN. Cheyna is obsessively curious, a passionate storyteller, and an occasional backpacker. Follow her on Twitter at @Cheyna_R
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