After Florida’s Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) announced that the state would stop participating in the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation program, State Senator Gary Farmer criticized the move and called for reversal of the department’s decision.
“Florida’s unemployment benefits are already among the very lowest in the nation. In fact it is only because of the federal $300 supplement that Florida’s unemployment benefits even come close to the voter approved $15 minimum wage. This decision by the DEO would bring that number down to less than half of that which is not only unfair to those out of work, but is a slap in the face to Florida’s voters and a gut punch to our state’s economy. This is just like what Republicans have done with Medicaid expansion, they have an opportunity to continue to inject millions of Florida’s federal tax dollars into our consumer based economy, but choose not to in an effort to score cheap political points at the expense of the people,” said Senator Farmer.
Senator Farmer concluded by chastising the DEO’s claim that removing the federal benefit will help employers to meet their hiring goals. “As it stands an unemployed person in Florida still receives less than what our people have determined to be a living wage. While they’re not saying it, the real message from Governor DeSantis is that Floridians have to make a choice between substandard wages and living conditions or starvation. This is cruel, misinformed, and not an acceptable attitude for any government to have towards its people. I urge Governor DeSantis to reverse course on this inhumane policy decision,” said Senator Farmer.