Reining in Unemployment

By: Whitney Ray Email
By: Whitney Ray Email

Tallahassee, FL - A scenario is making its rounds through the state capitol… Unemployed workers turning down jobs to keep their benefits… The story is anecdotal, but a house committee has ordered a study.

As of now… none of the power players, including the governor and senate president believe a significant number of people are ripping off the system.

“This is really anecdote right. My experience with people that are out of work, they’re looking for jobs,” said Governor Rick Scott.

“There might be a small few that are gaming it and that is what happens when you have a big government program. What I do know is this; there is one out of eight Floridians out of work right now and they want to work,” said Senate President Mike Haridopolos.

But they still think something needs to be done to lower the burden of 12 percent unemployment on businesses and the state. Florida is barrowing 115 million dollars a month to pay the unemployed, and business taxes are tripling in an attempt to pay it back.

Legislation was filed Monday to purge the rolls of unemployed people not actively seeking jobs. The bill requires people receiving unemployment pay to take any job after 12 weeks if the pay is equal or higher than their weekly 275 dollar unemployment checks.

William Barr, who’s been unemployed for nearly two years, says the legislation won’t force his hand… because he’s willing to take anything.

Reporter: Have you turned down a job in the last two years?
William: No sir. I’ve been looking. It’s kind of tough.

Governor Rick Scott hasn’t reviewed the legislation. He’ll release his plans for unemployment reform later this month.


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