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Whitmer signs executive orders for unemployment benefits, anti-price gouging

March 16, 2020
<p>Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer during her second State of the State address at the Michigan State Capitol in Lansing on Jan. 29, 2020.</p>

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer during her second State of the State address at the Michigan State Capitol in Lansing on Jan. 29, 2020.

Photo by Connor Desilets | The State News

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced expanded unemployment benefits Monday for those out of work due to COVID-19.

"Under the governor’s order, unemployment benefits would be extended to: Workers who have an unanticipated family care responsibility, including those who have childcare responsibilities due to school closures, or those who are forced to care for loved ones who become ill. Workers who are sick, quarantined, or immunocompromised and who do not have access to paid family and medical leave or are laid off. First responders in the public health community who become ill or are quarantined due to exposure to COVID-19," According to a press release.

The policy extends the duration of unemployment benefits from 20 weeks to 26 and expands the application period from 14 days to 28. In-person registration and work search requirements are currently suspended.

Whitmer also announced an order Sunday that temporarily restricts price gouging on goods, materials and emergency supplies.

"If a business or individual has acquired any product from a retailer, the business or individual must not resell that product in Michigan at a price that is grossly in excess of the purchase price of the product," according to a press release.

This order prevents any business or individual from selling a product for 20% higher than item's original price as of March 9. It went into effect Monday at 9:00 am. and will continue until April 13 at 11:59 pm.

“We will continue to take every measure we can to mitigate the spread of coronavirus and protect Michigan families,” Whitmer said in the statement. “In these challenging times, we need to come together as Michiganders. This order will help protect consumers from price gouging. Additionally, I'm working jointly with the Attorney General to enforce these orders, to protect consumers, and to hold bad actors accountable. We will get through this together.” 

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