Democratic lawmakers call on DeSantis to expand unemployment benefits

Coronavirus

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA)—U.S. Reps. Kathy Castor and Charlie Crist are calling on the governor to use his emergency powers to expand unemployment benefits in Florida.

The representatives held press conference via Zoom on Wednesday morning to press Gov. Ron DeSantis to make a number of changes to the state’s unemployment benefits program. Michele Evermore, a Senior Policy Analyst at the National Employment Law Project, was also in attendance.

Both Crist and Castor are supporting provisions that would improve federal unemployment benefits under the CARES Act, the $2 trillion federal stimulus package to provide COVID-19 economic relief. With the provisions, unemployed workers would get an extra $600 per week for up to four months.

“Under the $2 trillion CARES Act state unemployment benefits are greatly enhanced, but Floridians could receive more needed assistance if Florida expanded theirs beyond some of the stingiest in the country,” the lawmakers said in a joint press release. “U.S. Reps. Kathy Castor and Charlie Crist will be calling on Governor Ron DeSantis to immediately use his emergency powers to expand unemployment benefits for all Floridians. On tomorrow’s call, they will point to Florida law and past actions that establish the governor’s unquestioned authority.”

Watch their full discussion in the video player above.

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April 24 2021 08:00 am

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