- Associated Press - Thursday, December 21, 2017

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Gov. Rick Snyder has signed into law changes in how the state flags fraud in the unemployment benefits system in the wake of thousands of people being falsely accused.

The laws enacted Thursday reduce fraud penalties, improve identity theft protections and expand access to an advocacy group for claimants and employers accused of fraud.

Snyder, whose administration has faced criticism over the problems, says the bills will “modernize” the Unemployment Insurance Agency. He adds the new system will be fairer to those applying for benefits and protect people’s personal information.

The Snyder administration also is looking to create a state fund to compensate people who were falsely accused. It would help claimants who were refunded penalties and interest but have faced other financial hardships because of the fiasco.

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