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House takes aim at jobless

by John Kennedy | March 9th, 2011

The Republican-dominated House beat back Democratic attempts at weakening a tough new rewrite of Florida’s unemployment compensation laws.

The legislation (CS/HB 7005) cuts eligibility for Florida’s jobless and makes it tougher to claim benefits.

“It’s designed to balance the needs of the employer and the unemployed,” said Rep. Doug Holder, R-Sarasota, whose Economic Development and Tourism subcommittee crafted the bill.

But Democrats said the measure effectively is a handout to businesses that could hurt the economy by barring out-of-work Floridians from drawing needed cash, and might even spike the state’s already sky-high foreclosure rate.

“I’d suggest we strike the balance in favor of Floridians and not in favor of out-of-state corporations,” said Rep. Scott Randolph, D-Orlando.

The legislation mirrors a proposal unveiled earlier this month by Gov. Rick Scott, which reduces the duration of state unemployment benefits from 26 to 20 weeks, while maintaining the current maximum payment of $275-a-week.

Like Scott, the House plan also would tie benefits to the state’s unemployment rate. The period a jobless worker could receive a check would fall to a maximum of 12 weeks if unemployment hits 5 percent or less.

The reductions would only affect Floridians joining the jobless rolls after the legislation becomes law. Federal unemployment benefits, which currently extend as long as 99 weeks, could still kick-in when state coverage is exhausted. Critics pointed out, though, that the most generous federal standards are scheduled to end this year.

Florida’s unemployment rate hovers near 12 percent, with 1.1 million Floridians out-of-work. Only about 400,000 currently qualify for benefits

The House is set to vote on the measure Thursday.  The Senate is advancing a similar bill, with a final vote expected in coming weeks.

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16 Responses to “House takes aim at jobless”

  1. Mike Says:

    Republicans have run Florida’s government for the past 12 years.

    Got a complaint, blame a Republican.

  2. Brown.Pelican Says:

    Yet another carrot to businesses, and a stick to the employees of this state.

    If your business model forced you to downsize and lay off employees when the economy tanked, then maybe you need to pay the higher unemployment premiums. You probably also need to look at your business model…

    Keep us up to date on this topic PBPost, the people of Florida have a right to know how many carrots the system is handing out to business on the backs of the unemployed and underemployed.

  3. V Says:

    Good move………….blame the victim.

    Handouts to corporations and the rich on the backs of the middle class. This is just another step in the bush/neo-con campaign to destroy the middle class and establish a facist regime.

  4. Jo Says:

    So those of us that will be laid off from the school district because the state cut funding have 20 weekd of benefits to look forward to. Where are we going to find a job?

  5. Tea Lady Says:

    My heart goes out to the people who will be affected by this.

    Still, The People of Florida gave our elected officials a mandate: smaller government, less taxes, less government spending, and less regulation.

    It will take courage and sacrifice to see that the mandate is put into law.

    This is Democracy at it’s finest. And We Tea Partiers will make sure that it happens.

    For the good of Florida. And America! God Bless us All!

  6. daniel Says:

    great job repubs…third world america here we come.

  7. daniel Says:

    hey tea lady…less taxes (for rich), corporate welfare and de-regulation is exactly why we are in this spot, oh yhea and u would not be able to vote if it was not for government. u are killing us.

  8. Joe Boinski Says:

    Hey tea lady
    I believe that you are a paid hack from the governor’s office. Why don’t you post your real name so I can debate you on this and anyother topic. Let’s see if your man enough to debate me. I highly doubt it you hack. Palm beach post, could you try to determine if tea lady’s messages are coming from a gov’t omputer? This hack has fraud written all over herslf(if she is a lady) Please schedule an open debate between me and this fruad

  9. xenon Says:

    Tea Lady says “Let them eat cake!”

    Wasn’t that how the French Revolution got started?

  10. PFM Says:

    Tea Lady, you say what he is doing is what the voters voted for in Nov. They voted for a gov. that was going to be fair to all of FL. That is what he campaigned on. They he switched to attack the middle class and the poor. He said everyone needs to pay their fair share. Why don’t the rich have to pay? Why don’t the Corporations have to pay. Remember the Supreme Court say they are an Individual in donating money. They need to pay, as well!

  11. Tea Lady Says:

    @Joe: Thank you for posting your opinion. As Americans, we all cherish our right to freely express our viewpoints.

    Now, to your first point, no .. this is not being posted from a government computer.

    Second, expressing my viewpoints does not obligate me to debate you (or anyone else), based on your desire to debate.

    Third, I have been quite civil. I would appreciate the same from you.

    Fourth, I am under no obligation to use my “real name”.

    Fifth, I am not intimidated. I have the right to express my opinions, same as you.

    Have a Great Day! And thank you for your opinion.

  12. joe boinski Says:

    Tea lady
    dearie please learn how to read. My first question to you was “why don’t you post your real name” (since you don;t you obviously are a hack)
    MY second question, “Let’s see if you man enough to debate”-again NO
    my next inquiry was directed towards the palm beach post in which i asked if they could trace you email to determine if you are legit (again doubt it)
    I have been civil as well, calling someone a hack indicated my opinion that you are only posting because you are paid to do so.
    Next I am not trying to intimidate, rather debate these issues that we feel so strongly about. Obviously, you regurditate responses you heard from other individuals(or are paid) and cannot think for yourself.

    now so you don;t get confused Dearie, PALM BEACH POST could you please investigate this person because I fell fraud is being comitted against your readers regarding posting that I do not feel are coming from an individual, rather from someone who is being paid to post.

    Now back to tea lady, god bless and have a great day

  13. real american Says:

    Fact is Tea Partiers consistantly align themselves with Republicans. ( They did not support a Democrat in any election in this state nor any other) Interestingly enough , they state they are an independent group whos main goal/motivation is keeping the legislature (state/federal) fiscally responsible. If that is the prime motivation of this ” group” , then why would they re-elect , elect and/or otherwise blindly support the very Party and its nominies that have ran the state for over a decade and arguably brought our State to financial ruin? It is counter-intuitive to re-elect or elect MORE of the SAME if CHANGE is what they are really looking for. It is my opinion that these ” supportres” have been ” duped” by the Republicans and they are not going to realize this until its unfortunately to late.

  14. Tea Lady Says:

    @real american: You raise some reasonable points. I respect that you view things differently.

    But in the case of Scott, remember that the “party” candidate was .. McCollum. I do not doubt McCollum the sincerity of McCollum’s “social conservative” credentials, but McCollum did not espouse a particularly strong vision for fiscal responsibility. And many Tea Partiers thus voted for Scott in the primary, upsetting the “GOP” candidate.

    As for being “duped”, well, I will say that if Tea Party-backed candidates do not show the type of fiscal restraint expected, we will turn our backs on them in the next election. And run candidates against them (yielding further upsets, if necessary).

    As for “ruin”, I would (grossly) simplify our current set of choices as:
    1. raise taxes
    2. borrow more money
    3. reduce gov’t spending

    And Tea Partiers firmly believe that #3 is the best course of action. Of course, I realize that others have different answers.

  15. real american Says:

    All due respect , Rick Scott ran for tha Republican(GOP) nomination. He was not an independent nor was he any type of third party canidate. He is a Republican. Furthermore , what makes you sure that a canidate from an opposing party would not have cut spending ?
    Moreover , the tax cuts you mentioned have been pathetically small for the average citizen. Althought , the corporate tax rate has been slashed by HUGE amounts. Not just for those willing to relocate businesses to our state and employ over 1 million of Florida’s out of work residents, but to all businesses , kind of does’nt make sense huh? .
    As well , actually cutting upper level state government salaries would have been a better start, right? The executive staff makes an average of $160,000.00 !! On top of that , we could’nt have cut state reps and senators pay by $3000.00 ? Of , course we could! Most are all independently wealthy and make their money in the private sector.
    Last and most important of all , is the fact that Rick Scott has stolen money from the Federal Gov. , and not just once. He has bilked medicare, and is going to bilk this state. Conservative mouthpiece Dick Morris said ” I would vote for Alex Sink , and she is a horrible canidate” and ” Rick Scott belongs in jail , not the Governor’s Mansion”
    Madam , you have been duped. And by the time you and the rest of your voting alliance figure it out………….it will be to late to fix by voting anyone out or in.

  16. Searcher Says:

    Well, it’s the Tea Lady v. Real American. They are both posting during “working hours” so they are either unemployed or wasting their employers time.

    Still, if there must be a “winner”, it is Real American. At least he has some COMPASSION and sense. Tea Lady is just stuck on ideological purity. That will get you in BIG TROUBLE!

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