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UI reform deal recognized nationally

December 7, 2012

The Michigan Finance Authority won The Bond Buyer’s 11th annual Deal of the Year award Wednesday night for its multi-billion refinancing of Michigan’s federal unemployment insurance loan.

“This was a transaction that was big, precedent setting and AAA all around. It provided a template for subsequent deals, a low cost of capital and benefits for both the public and private sectors,” said Gavin Murphy, editor in chief of The Bond Buyer, who presented the award at a ceremony held at the Waldorf Astoria hotel in New York City this week.

Michigan became the second state to issue bonds to pay off the monstrous $3.2 billion in loans owed to the federal government for unemployment benefits through legislation approved last year.  A unified business coalition, which included SBAM, collaborated with the Unemployment Insurance Agency on the deal that brought the 100 percent employer finance UI Trust back to solvency.  The deal ultimately helped employers avoid huge federal tax and fee increases and ushered in a litany of structural reforms.  Today, the state’s Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund carries a positive balance of nearly $1 billion.   

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