TALLAHASSEE (CBS4) — The Florida House has passed a bill which will reduce the time an unemployed worker would receive state benefits from 26 weeks to 20 weeks.

The bill, (HB 7005), if unemployment were to drop below 5-percent, the maximum would be 12 weeks of unemployment benefits. The measure also makes it easier for the state to disqualify certain workers for the circumstances under which they lost their previous job.

“I commend the House for taking the lead on reforming the unemployment compensation system. The House’s legislation reduces taxes on Florida businesses and ensures that we have the necessary safety net for those who are out of work,” said Gov. Rick Scott in a statement. “By linking the number of weeks a person can receive benefits to the state’s unemployment levels, we are creating an environment for Florida’s job creators to get the state back to work.”

The bill, which had wide support in the Republican-controlled House, was aimed at lowering the amount of money employers pay into the unemployment fund, which is currently broke. The state has been borrowing from the federal government to pay benefits.

“The bill is designed to balance the needs of employers with the needs of the unemployed, and get the unemployment compensation trust fund on the road to solvency,” said its sponsor, Rep. Doug Holder, R-Sarasota.

Republicans brought the measure to the House floor on Wednesday, and knocked down several Democratic attempts to weaken it.

Before it becomes law, the bill must pass in the Senate; while that body’s measure seeks to change certain benefit eligibility rules, it doesn’t shorten the length of time during which benefits can be awarded. Neither bill affects additional federal jobless benefits that kick in after state compensation is exhausted.

The News Service of Florida contributed to this report.

Comments (12)
  1. Bob says:

    Scott- he steals from the poor and gives to the rich. Tax breaks for millionaire companies and layoff for teacher, DCF workers,and firefighters! What did u expect he cuts million of dollars and jobs out of the public sector but then spends 9million on his own office… Can you say corrupt?

  2. J says:

    First he stole from Medicare and got away with it. Then you yahoo’s voted him in office. Now you cry when he is taking more from you. What did you expect? He is not interested in the people of this state. He wants to cut spending and give all the savings to business that won’t hire anyone to work. Do you really think he is going to lower your property taxes? Your getting what you asked for! Next time, read between the lines before you vote some idiot into office!

  3. george says:

    It is about time, make them work lazy bums

  4. BR Sumbich says:

    There are already too many people riding in the wagon, and not enough willing to pull the wagon.

    If you haven’t found a job in 20 weeks, you are unemployable or unwilling to do what it takes to support yourself. Unemployment is not suppose to be long term.

  5. JAL says:

    This guy is an ultra conservative who is not interested in helping the poor or middle class. If any jobs are crteated it will be minimum wage jobs, I as a republican am glad that I did not vote for him. I saw this coming.

  6. CONFUSED says:

    “…we are creating an environment for Florida’s job creators to get the state back to work.”

    Can someone please explain to me the logic behind such a statement in the context of a sluggish consumer market. If our economy is primarily driven by the consumer and there is minimal demand for products and services what logical reason would a so called “job creator” have to add a new position because now they have more money in their pocket from a reduced tax break? I’m not a business owner but logically if I owned a business and adding one more person doesn’t create a marginal difference in productivity then why should I hire?

  7. StitchThis says:

    “creating an environment for Florida’s job creators to get the state back to work”.
    if only this were true, but the past 2 years has seen the greed of companies, how they take the extra money created for them by government, and run with it instead of investing it back into the company ultimately creating job growth.
    This move will not create more jobs, but it will create more crime.

  8. cal says:

    Everybody I know wants to know who voted for this fool. Somebody did but nobody wants to admit it. He has only been in office a very short time, I wonder what else he will do to the unemployed.. Like some one just said you don’t know howi it is to be unemployed until you lose your job.

    1. BR Sumbich says:

      You can earn more money than unemployment pays doing telemarketing, or hustling stuff on ebay.

  9. Mercedes Alfonso-Sala says:

    Im just sick to my stomach with this so-called governor. How in God’s good name did this criminal become our governor? Do we really have to wait four years to get him out of office?

  10. fools says:

    you guys vote him IN i’m FEDERAL.Thank GOD.

  11. gary liv says:

    Some of you are lucky to have a job and those who slander and call those people lazy and go get a job maybe you are not in need of one “yet” your turn may be around the corner do you know the age of those who cant find a job if you are above 40 years of age chances are you are gonna have a more difficult time getting a job and to those who get angry at unemployed people pray to god you dont lose yours because dont forget dont spit up because it just might fall on your face