BusinessPetition Urges FL Governor to Keep "Vital" Unemployment Benefits

Petition Urges FL Governor to Keep “Vital” Unemployment Benefits


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Laid-off workers are appealing to Gov. Ron DeSantis to reverse plans to terminate a federal pandemic assistance program that added a $300 per week boost to the state’s unemployment benefits.

Jim Ricer owned a thriving catering business called “Gourmet to You,” with which his team delivered meals to businesses, for 19 years. When the pandemic shut down corporate offices, Ricer found himself instantly out of business.

On top of it all, he said he only qualifies for federal unemployment benefits, which the DeSantis administration plans to end on June 26. Ricer thinks the move is all political, and said he feels like a pawn.

“It’s hard, it’s hard to be strong for my 15-year-old daughter, you know,” Ricer explained. “‘Cause you can’t let them know that you’re struggling, and it does, it does hit me in the heart, it’s very personal.”

Unemployment Benefits

A growing number of Republican-led states have withdrawn from the federal program, claiming it will be an incentive to get people back to work.

However, Ricer thinks the move will only add more pain and stress to families like his, and he’s backing an online petition by the Florida-AFL-CIO, to try to convince the governor to change course.

Karen Woodall, executive director of the Florida Center for Fiscal and Economic Policy at the Florida People’s Advocacy Center, said Florida could lose out even more on economic activity if it withdraws from the federal program.

“It’s money that goes into the economy,” Woodall pointed out. “People pay rent, people get gas, people, you know, they are not taking it and sticking it in a savings account, so it’s just out of touch with the struggles that people continue to go through in Florida.”

A study from the Century Foundation, a progressive think tank, showed the change could impact more than 116,000 Florida workers, ending roughly $418 million in benefits. Some estimate the change could pull about $700 million in stimulus out of the economy.

With the removal of federal help, unemployed workers in Florida can only receive a maximum of $275 per week, which is among the lowest benefits in the country.

Trabajadores despedidos estan apelando ante el Gobernador Ron DeSantis para que revierta los planes de terminar un programa federal de asistencia ante la pandemia que anadio $ 300 dolares por semana a los beneficios del estado por desempleo. Durante 19 anos, Jim Ricer tuvo un prospero negocio de comidas llamado “Gourmet to You”, Gourmet para ti, en el que su equipo entregaba comidas al domicilio de las empresas. Cuando las oficinas corporativas cerraron sus puertas debido a la pandemia, Ricer de repente se vio fuera del negocio. Y encima de todo, dice que solo califica para los beneficios federales por desempleo, que la administracion de DeSantis planea terminar el 26 de junio. Ricer cree que la medida es totalmente politica y dice que se siente como un peon de ajedrez. Su voz se entrecorta al hablar de sus preocupaciones.

“Es dificil, es dificil ser fuerte para mi hija de 15 anos, ya sabes. Porque no se puede dejarles ver que tienes problemas y si, si me pega en el corazon, es muy personal.”

Una cantidad creciente de estados gobernados por Republicanos se han retirado del programa federal, alegando de que sera un incentivo para lograr que la gente vuelva a trabajar. Como sea, Ricer piensa que el movimiento solo agregara mas dolor y estres a familias como la suya, y respalda una peticion en linea hecha por la Florida-AFL-CIO para tratar de convencer al gobernador de que cambie el rumbo.

Karen Wodall, del Centro de Politica Fiscal y Economica de Florida, dice que el estado podria perder incluso mas en actividad economica si se sale del programa federal.

“Es dinero que va a la economia, la gente paga renta, la gente compra gas, sabe que no esta tomandolo y metiendolo a una cuenta de ahorro, asi que simplemente esta fuera de contacto con las luchas que la gente sigue pasando en Florida.”

Un estudio del la Fundacion Siglo, un grupo de expertos progresista, mostro que el cambio podria afectar a mas de 116.000 trabajadores de Florida, poniendo fin a aproximadamente $ 418 millones en beneficios. Algunos estiman que el cambio podria sacar alrededor de $ 700 millones en estimulos a la economia.

Con la eliminacion de la ayuda federal, los trabajadores desempleados en Florida solo pueden recibir un maximo de $ 275 por semana, que se encuentra entre los beneficios mas bajos del pais.

Sunshine Slate
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