State Rep. Mark Tisdel Updates: Audit Reveals Mishandled Staffing; Governor Veto of Tax Relief Bill
March 18, 2022: Audit reveals unemployment agency mishandled staffing during pandemic
State Rep. Mark Tisdel today expressed deep concern after an audit report released today revealed egregious failures by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s administration when it hired workers to handle unemployment claims during the pandemic.
The Michigan Auditor General found that the Unemployment Insurance Agency (UIA) and the Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity inappropriately released a staffing agency from liability for fraud committed by its workers. The agencies also failed to restrict the ability of former employees to access the claims system. Both problems contributed to $3.8 million in unemployment insurance fraud committed by a former worker who continued to view and make unauthorized changes to claims after they were no longer employed by the staffing agency.
The Auditor General noted: “Despite the magnitude of this fraud, UIA did not sufficiently strengthen its controls to ensure the timely removal of system access rights to prevent the opportunity for similar occurrences.”
“The details revealed in this audit are deeply concerning,” said Tisdel, of Rochester Hills. “The unemployment agency failed to take the most basic steps to prevent fraud and protect taxpayer dollars. Even after being made aware of the problem, leaders sat on their hands instead of making necessary changes to restrict the access of former employees.”
Additionally, the agency failed to conduct background checks on new employees at staffing agencies and Michigan Works! agencies that were processing unemployment claims. The Auditor General found 169 workers with criminal convictions. Of those, 47 workers had one or more felony convictions, including crimes such as embezzlement, illegal sale/use of financial transaction devices, false pretenses with intent to defraud, identity theft, and armed robbery. As of Dec. 31, 2020, 71 of these individuals were still working with the UIA.
The full audit report can be reviewed here AUDIT REPORT.
March 18, 2022: With tax relief veto, governor rejects another bipartisan plan
State Rep. Mark Tisdel, R-Rochester Hills, today issued the following statement after Gov. Gretchen Whitmer vetoed a bipartisan plan to cut taxes for working families and seniors:
“Gov. Whitmer has vetoed yet another reasonable, bipartisan bill — this time to scale back taxes to relieve the economic pressure on seniors and working families.
“As families struggle to pay the price of inflation, a bipartisan majority of state legislators approved tax relief. The governor hasn’t let bipartisan support deter her veto pen before, and she needlessly blocked relief for Michigan residents.”
Senate Bill 768, which earned bipartisan support in the Legislature, would have provided an estimated $2.5 billion in tax relief. The plan would have reduced the individual income tax rate from 4.25% to 3.9%; allowed families to claim a child tax credit of up to $500 per dependent under 19; enabled seniors to exempt an additional $20,000 of retirement income for individuals or $40,000 for joint filers; and lowered the age for the senior income exemption from 67 to 62.
About State Representative Mark Tisdel
State Rep. Mark Tisdel, of Rochester Hills, represents Greater Rochester in the Michigan House of Representatives. The 45th House District, which Tisdel represents, includes the cities of Rochester and Rochester Hills and part of Oakland Township.
Representative Mark Tisdel is one of 110 Members of The Michigan House of Representatives who are elected by the qualified electors of districts having approximately 77,000 to 91,000 residents.
Representatives are elected in even-numbered years to 2-year terms. Legislative districts are drawn on the basis of population figures through the federal decennial census.
Mar 18, 2022, from office of 45th District Michigan House Representative Mark A. Tisdel