Thousands of unemployed South Floridians will finally be getting their benefits checks after the state’s troubled new system had held them up.
Senate Republicans failed to generate the votes to kill a bipartisan bill to extend long-term unemployment insurance by three months. The filibuster by some Senate Republicans to the extension fell by a vote of 60-37 Tuesday morning.
The state Department of Economic Opportunity is hiring 330 workers to help process unemployment assistance applications due to troubles with a new $62.8 million online system.
Tens of thousands of Floridians are bracing to lose their long term unemployment benefits Saturday.
The state has started to impose daily fines and is withholding a $3 million payment to penalize a company that has helped overhaul the technically troubled unemployment-benefits computer system.
More than a million people may lose their unemployment insurance in just a few weeks if Congress fails to extend a Great Recession program that increased the number of weeks for which unemployed workers qualify.
The number of people asking for unemployment benefits last week dropped to the lowest level since March 2008, according to the Labor Department.
The drop in the state’s unemployment rate in March may have been a sign of brighter days ahead. However, gloomy times are looming for those who still have not landed work.
Florida unemployment rate saw its biggest one month drop since October 1992 in March. The unemployment rate statewide dropped 0.4 percent to just 9 percent in March 2012.
House Republican Mario Diaz-Balart will try to push through a proposal to return Cuban travel policy to the restrictions under former President George W. Bush.