Rep. Levin calls on Gov. Snyder to review cases and reimburse residents falsely accused of unemployment insurance fraud

Apr 27, 2016

In October 2013, the Michigan Unemployment Insurance Agency (UIA) implemented the Michigan Integrated Data Automated System (MiDAS), which used an automated computer program without human oversight to make official determinations of fraud in unemployment insurance claims in violation of federal law. The system proved to be over inclusive; for example, MiDAS alleged approximately 27,000 unemployment insurance claims to be fraudulent – five times the typical number of cases established by the UIA – and collected $57 million in penalties from garnished wages and tax returns from March 2014 to March 2015. The Auditor General found that computer-determined fraud was affirmed in only 8 percent of cases that were appealed and the system collected funds from people that the UIA knew had never received any notice, among other issues.

That’s why Rep. Levin sent a letter to Governor Snyder calling on the Governor to order the UIA to review these computer-alleged fraud cases and reimburse those falsely accused of fraud.   A  PDF of the letter is available here.

 

Rep. Levin Co-Sponsors the “Assistance, Quality, and Affordability Act
The Drinking Water State Revolving Fund, the primary source of federal funding for drinking water infrastructure projects, was created by the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) Amendments of 1996. Congress has not reauthorized this program since its initial authorization expired in 2003.  It continues to provide assistance to states because it has been included in annual appropriations and budget deals. Because of this, the program remains in danger of being eliminated each year and is funded at an outdated and inappropriate 13-year old level.

In response, Rep. Levin and 43 other House lawmakers have co-sponsored the “Assistance, Quality, and Affordability Act of 2016,” which would update the SWDA to significantly increase funding authorization levels for local communities with water infrastructure deficiencies.  This bill would provide investments needed to help maintain and upgrade our nation’s aging drinking water infrastructure so our nation can continue to provide safe, affordable water for years to come. 

 

Rep. Levin: U.S. must formally recognize Armenian Genocide
Rep. Levin joined Armenians around the world in solemn commemoration of the 101st anniversary of the Armenian Genocide. Over a century ago, the Ottoman Empire engaged in a systematic campaign to eliminate the Armenian people. Men, women, and children of all ages were thrown out of their homes and their property seized. They were subjected to death marches through the desert, and were raped, tortured, and killed. Rep. Levin said, “Despite the strongly established historical record, the United States still fails to formally recognize the Armenian Genocide. Formal recognition is necessary to honor fully the memory of those who lost their lives by acknowledging this atrocity for what it was – genocide.”

 

Rep. Levin Introduces the Sensible Estate Tax Act
Rep. Levin introduced legislation to bring fairness to the tax code by restoring the estate tax and gift tax to the more sensible levels that were in effect in 2009.  Over the past decade, fewer and fewer estates have been required to pay the estate tax (illustrated by the fact that it currently only applies to .15 percent of estates), further exacerbating the growing issue of wealth inequality in our nation.  Rep. Levin said when introducing the legislation: “This disturbing trend is yet another stark example of how broken and unfair our tax code is, which is why we have to take action. Requiring more of the wealthiest estates to pay the estate tax and raising the estate tax rate are commonsense steps we can take toward making our tax code fairer.”

On the Floor of the U.S. House this week: This week, the House will consider legislation that would loosen regulations on private investing for startup businesses, and a bill to renew Washington, D.C.’s unpopular private school voucher program. Finally, on Friday, the House will debate a resolution of disapproval for the Department of Labor’s Conflict of Interest Retirement Investment Rule.