LANSING — New legislation introduced in the State House of Representatives would restore the duration of Michigan’s unemployment benefits to the pre-2011 length.

According to a release from the office of Representative Scott Dianda (D-Calumet), a particular impetus for his sponsorship of House Bill 5721 is the impending closure of the Empire Mine in Marquette County. Dianda hopes to stave off the economic impact of laid off miners potentially leaving the area.

If it passes, the bill would add an additional six weeks onto the current twenty week unemployment benefit period offered by the state.