LANSING, Mich. — Gov. Rick Snyder has signed a bill into law that protects Michigan's volunteer firefighters from losing some of their unemployment benefits.
House Bill 4726, sponsored by State Rep. Al Pscholka, R-Stevensville, prevents compensation volunteer firefighters receive from counting as income and threatening unemployment compensation for unemployed volunteers. The bill was approved in the House with a unanimous vote of 109-0.
Royalton Township Fire Chief Ron Koebel approached Pscholka about the problem in the fall of 2010. He said volunteer firefighters were experiencing reduced unemployment benefits, penalizing them for their service and discouraging them from volunteering.
Pscholka said that in addition to benefiting the volunteer firefighters, the new law will help local communities that rely on the services of volunteers, who are compensated a relatively small amount for their time and efforts.
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