Make us your home page
Instagram

Deal struck to further cut Florida unemployment benefits

TALLAHASSEE — Out-of-work Floridians would receive fewer state benefits while businesses pay less tax under a controversial proposal approved Friday by a divided Legislature.

The deal, which Gov. Rick Scott is expected to sign into law, immediately cuts unemployment benefits by 11.5 percent.

Jobless Floridians would continue to receive a maximum payment of $275 per week, among the lowest of any state in the country. But they would be paid for no more than 23 weeks, instead of 26.

Cutting the number of weeks was a victory for Scott and the Republican House, which had fought Senate sponsor Nancy Detert to reduce the number of weeks. The bill, HB 7005, passed along party lines in both the Senate and the House.

The bill also creates a sliding scale that cuts and adds weeks of benefits based on the unemployment rate. Unemployment compensation would drop to as low as 12 weeks if the average unemployment rate drops to 5 percent or lower. A week would be added for every 0.5 percent the jobless rate climbs.

The change also cuts by 10 percent the business tax that pays for unemployment benefits.

"It's a great gift to the business community," Detert said of the bill.

Detert, R-Venice, had refused to reduce the maximum number of weeks but ultimately relented under pressure from her fellow Republicans, many of whom preferred to cap benefits at 20 weeks.

"Some of you wanted to cut the weeks, anyway, so that will make you happy," Detert told Senate lawmakers.

The bill also makes it easier for a business to show employees were fired for cause, preventing them from receiving benefits. Unemployment tax rates for businesses are largely tied to the number of former workers receiving jobless benefits.

"It's a disaster," said AFL-CIO spokesman Rich Templin.

Michael C. Bender can be reached at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @MichaelCBender.

Deal struck to further cut Florida unemployment benefits 05/06/11 [Last modified: Friday, May 6, 2011 9:38pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Tampa's Walter Investment Management restructuring, could file for bankruptcy

    Corporate

    TAMPA — Tampa-based Walter Investment Management Corp. is restructuring to cut down some of the mortgage firm's $700 million debt, Walter announced Friday night. The firm, according to its investor relations page, focuses on subprime and "other credit-challenged" mortgages.

    Walter Investment Management is restructuring to reduce its $700 million debt, the company announced late Friday. Pictured is Anthony Renzi. CEO. | [Courtesy of LinkedIn]
  2. Carrollwood fitness center employs scientific protocol to help clients

    Business

    In 2005, Al Roach and Virginia Phillips, husband and wife, opened 20 Minutes to Fitness in Lakewood Ranch, and last month they opened the doors to their new location in Carrollwood.

    Preston Fisher, a personal fitness coach at 20 Minutes To Fitness, stands with an iPad while general manager/owner Angela Begin conducts an equipment demonstration. The iPad is used to track each client's information and progress. I also included one shot of just the equipment. The center recently opened in Carrollwood. Photo by Danielle Hauser.
  3. Olive Tree branches out to Wesley Chapel

    Business

    WESLEY CHAPEL — When it came time to open a second location of The Olive Tree, owners John and Donna Woelfel, decided that Wesley Chapel was the perfect place.

    The Olive Tree expands its offerings of "ultra premium?€ extra virgin olive oils (EVOO) to a second location in Wesley Chapel. Photo by Danielle Hauser.
  4. Massachusetts firm buys Tampa's Element apartment tower

    Real Estate

    TAMPA — Downtown Tampa's Element apartment tower sold this week to a Massachusetts-based real estate investment company that plans to upgrade the skyscraper's amenities and operate it long-term as a rental community.

    The Element apartment high-rise at 808 N Franklin St. in downtown Tampa has been sold to a Northland Investment Corp., a Massachusetts-based real estate investment company. JIM DAMASKE  |  Times
  5. New York town approves Legoland proposal

    News

    GOSHEN, N.Y. — New York is one step closer to a Lego dreamland. Goshen, a small town about fifty miles northwest of the Big Apple, has approved the site plan for a $500 million Legoland amusement park.

    A small New York town, Goshen approved the site plan for a $500 million Legoland amusement park. Legoland Florida is in Winter Haven. [Times file  photo]