Unemployment benefits extension passed in Michigan House

LANSING, MI – State lawmakers have struck a deal with Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on unemployment benefits reform.

The Michigan House voted 101-0 after midnight during its Wednesday, Oct. 14 session to approve Senate bills 886 and 911, which closely mirror Whitmer’s Executive Order 2020-76. The legislation would put temporary pandemic measures in place for Michigan’s unemployment system until the end of the year.

The Senate unanimously passed both bills with technical language substitutes later Wednesday morning. Negotiations between Whitmer, the House and the Senate started Tuesday, Oct. 13 and lasted into the wee hours of the next morning.

Read more: Michigan unemployment pitfalls following Supreme Court ruling could be fixed with Senate bill

After the Michigan Supreme Court struck down Whitmer’s emergency powers, she charged the legislature with ensuring unemployment benefits remain in place. An issue that held up negotiations between Whitmer, the House and Senate involved the unemployment bills being tie-barred to a package on COVID-19 lawsuit liability.

House bills 6030, 6031, 6032 and 6101 provide lawsuit standards for COVID-19 exposure for businesses, employees and people visiting said businesses. Whitmer has previously called the package “a solution in search of a problem.”

Related: Michigan House approves bills establishing COVID-19 lawsuit standards

Both sides dropped the tie-bar requirement, and both sets of legislation were approved separately.

The deal is “great news for working families and small businesses,” tweeted Speaker of the House Rep. Lee Chatfield, R-Levering.

“We have a deal on unemployment benefits and liability reform,” he said via Twitter. “The tie bar is no longer necessary, because we found common ground.”

The COVID-19 liability package passed in the Michigan Senate, some with bipartisan support and some on partisan lines.

State Sen. Ken Horn, R-Frankenmuth, sponsored the Senate bills and said Tuesday afternoon that he was optimistic the Governor would sign both, as both his and her staffs worked together during bill review.

“They (were) tie-barred because together they bring great balance in protecting both employees and employers, both public and private sector,” Horn told MLive.

Horn had previously said Whitmer should stop making “snarky, condescending speeches about us not working with her” and work with Republican lawmakers.

Just like Whitmer’s executive order, Senate Bill 866 extends the maximum unemployment benefit period from 20 weeks to 26 weeks, doesn’t make employers pay for benefits when someone is laid off due to COVID-19, allows employers to use the work-share program even if not normally eligible and allows people to receive benefits while taking time off work for a COVID-19-related cause.

Also, all benefits paid out during the pandemic are deemed valid, except in fraud cases.

The bill doesn’t mention waiving the requirement for people to actively search for work – like the executive order did – meaning recipients may need to prove they’re looking for a job to get paid, if the bill is passed as is.

Another excluded piece: It doesn’t include the provision from the executive order that makes the agency only look at a person’s most

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PIPPIN Announces Third and Final Extension at The Garden Theatre

PIPPIN will now run through Saturday 17 October.

PIPPIN Announces Third and Final Extension at The Garden Theatre

There’s more magic to do… critically acclaimed ‘Pippin’ has announced a final week’s extension at London’s exciting new outdoor theatre venue, The Garden Theatre.

‘Pippin’, which has received 4 Off West End Award nominations – Best Musical Production (Steven Dexter), Best Ensemble, Choreography (Nick Winston) and Musical Director (MIchael Bradley) – will now end its run on Saturday 17 October.

Producer Peter Bull, Lambco Productions and The Garden Theatre at The Eagle in Vauxhall have also received the first OneOFF Award from the Off West End Awards, celebrating the creation of a new venue against the odds and launching with the first Off West End production since lockdown began in March 2020.

The press night for ‘Naked Boys Singing’, that launches the new Eagle Late slot, will move a week to Friday 16 October at 8.30pm to comply with the new 10pm Covid curfew.

“Producer Peter Bull said: “Lyn Gardner asked in her review of ‘Pippin’ ‘what kind of mad optimist and dreamer opens a theatre venue during a pandemic?’. Well, we did and the success of The Garden Theatre has exceeded all our expectations. We have now installed outdoor heating and a new sound system and created 3 dressing rooms within the venue as we prepare to announce a slew of productions taking us into 2021.”

Eagle owner Mark Oakley said: “Wow! 4 Offie nominations and the OneOFF award – I am absolutely chuffed for our theatre production company and all involved who have created something totally unique and a lifeline to my business. If The Garden Theatre had not happened The Eagle would not have survived. But as we celebrated this incredible new attraction for all to enjoy, we received the bitter 10pm curfew blow. However, the show will go on…”

The ‘Pippin’ cast features Ryan Anderson, Tsemaye Bob-Egbe, Tanisha-Mae Brown, Joanne Clifton, Harry Francis and Dan Krikler. Creative team: Director Steven Dexter, Choreographer Nick Winston, Musical Director Michael Bradley, Designer David Shields, Lighting Designer Richard Lambert, Casting by Anne Vosser. It is produced by Peter Bull for LAMBCO Productions.

Originally Produced on the Broadway stage by Stuart Ostrow Directed on the Broadway stage by Bob Fosse. 2013 Broadway revival directed by Diane Paulus. Theo ending originally conceived in 1998 by Mitch Sebastian. Performed by arrangement with Music Theatre International (Europe) Limited.


Peter Bull for LAMBCO Productions


Music and Lyrics by Stephen Schwartz
Book by Roger O. Hirson
Directed by Steven Dexter

The Garden Theatrea
at The Eagle
349 Kennington Lane
London SE11 5QY
(nearest tube/train: Vauxhall)

Now booking to Sunday 17 October

Doors will open 30mins before the performance

Tickets:£20.00 + bkng fee


The performance is 90mins with a 5 min pause

The Garden Theatre at The Eagle
follows Government guidelines in its operations

Social Distancing is in place with seat allocations by the theatre staff

The venue is outdoors

Please order drinks for before the show and interval drinks immediately upon arrival and

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White House backs $25B airline relief extension amid coronavirus aid talks

White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows urged Congress on Thursday to extend payroll grants for airline employees through next March, in order to avoid sweeping furloughs throughout the industry.

He said $25 billion was necessary to provide sufficient relief for six more months, mirroring the amount approved in March that expires Sept. 30. Meadows said he thought it was a small price to pay given the trillion-dollar-plus proposals under discussion, though broader coronavirus relief talks continue to stall.

“Compared to $1.5 trillion, it’s a rather small amount of additional assistance that could potentially keep 30 to 50,000 workers on the payroll,” Meadows said after a meeting with airline executives, who warned of imminent furloughs.

That’s the price tag on a compromise plan floated by the 50-member bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus in the House earlier this week. Democratic committee leaders shot it down as too skimpy, and Speaker Nancy Pelosi has demanded at least $2.2 trillion in relief. Earlier this week she said she’d be open to additional airline assistance as part of a broader relief package, but didn’t offer a dollar figure.

Senate Republicans didn’t include airline aid in their “skinny” $300 billion plan that couldn’t muster the 60 votes needed for cloture last week.

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Cynthia moves IHC against interior ministry’s decision to reject visa extension

In its response to the IHC a day ago, the ministry stated that the American citizen’s visa had been extended twice during 2018-19 which was against the law — File photo

US Blogger Cynthia D Ritchie has submitted a petition in the Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Saturday, challenging the interior ministry’s decision to deny her a visa extension.

In the petition, Ritchie made the interior secretary, deputy secretary, and director-general Federal Investigation Agency parties to the case, stating that she had fulfilled all the legal obligations required of her — in her visa application — to ensure her continued stay in Pakistan.

Ritchie accused the interior ministry of denying her visa without any solid reason, her petition mentioning that rejecting her visa extension was a violation of the General Clauses Act and the country’s visa policy.

Interior ministry asks Cynthia Ritchie to leave Pakistan within 15 days

Earlier this week, the ministry had rejected Ritchie’s visa extension application and asked her to exit the country within 15 days.

In its response to the IHC a day ago, the ministry stated that the American citizen’s visa had been extended twice during 2018-19 which was against the law.

It mentioned that the blogger had applied for her work visa extension two times, but she was given a business visa by the authority against the visa policy, adding that her company was not registered in Pakistan either.

The interior ministry on Friday had also submitted its comments to the High court in Cynthia D Ritchie’s case, stating that the American blogger should be stopped from making controversial statements that go against the basic rights of citizens.

The response came after the IHC expressed displeasure over the ministry’s comments at the previous hearing, instructing it to provide relevant records of its business visa policy. 

Ritchie accuses PPP leadership of ‘harassment’ and ‘manhandling’

In a video broadcast live on Facebook in May, Ritchie had alleged that a senior PPP leader had raped her while two others had ‘manhandled’ her at a separate occasion.

She had stated that the incidents occurred in 2011 during the PPP tenure, when the individual she accused of rape had been a senior minister.

Ritchie had further alleged that two other senior party leaders — a federal minister and former prime minister Yousuf Raza Gillani (who publicly responded to the allegation) — had “physically manhandled” her when the latter “was staying the President House”.

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