Unemployed Lobby Lawmakers to Stop Changes

By: Whitney Ray Email
By: Whitney Ray Email

Tallahassee, FL - The debate surrounding how to pay Florida’s unemployed is reaching a boiling point. Dozens of angry jobseekers crowded the state capitol Wednesday. Devetria Stratford has been out of work for two years.

“I’m a hard worker. People want to holla about we lazy. I’m not lazy. The last job I held for eight years. I held another job for nine years,” Stratford.

The unemployed traveled from South Florida and Orlando. They voiced their frustration, and carried signs. The group was brought together by legislation that would shorten the number of weeks the state would pay the unemployed by six and make it easier for employers to dispute a claim.

Determined to have their voices heard, the unemployed workers lined the entrance to the House Chamber where lawmakers were preparing to debate the unemployment compensation legislation.

As Representative Carlos Trujillo tried to make his way through the crowd, organizers began questioning his support for the bill.

Trujillo: We are working to give employers the ability to grow businesses, to expand business, to have enough capital to continue to grow. People don’t want to receive unemployment. People want to work. We are trying to allow them to have that opportunity.

Protester: On one hand you’re saying that, but on the other hand you are threatening the jobs.

On average, the changes would provide a 25 dollar per employee tax break for businesses this year and additional breaks in the coming years. The bill’s sponsor says its one step closer to a more business friendly environment.

“A reduction in weeks will encourage new business to come to this state,” said Rep. Doug Holder.

With the House poised to approve the bill Thursday, the protesters will concentrate their efforts on the Senate, which is considering less severe cuts. The legislation would allow the unemployed to challenge a denied claim in an appellate court, but many argue the unemployed don’t have enough money to hire a lawyer.


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  • by I haven't met Wendy Location: TLH on Mar 10, 2011 at 03:09 PM
    To Wendy's Friend: P.S. You might want to check your spelling of the word misspelled before you start your teaching career.
  • by I've never met Wendy Location: TLH on Mar 10, 2011 at 02:59 PM
    Wendy's Friend: I don't know "waht" you do for a living but maybe you should be a teacher. It is very apparent that you are highly "ecucated" and have a need to share your "knowlege" with others.
  • by Wendy's Friend Location: Tallahassee on Mar 9, 2011 at 08:23 PM
    Jerry ....are you referring to a female body part libia? If so, you mispelled it. That would be labia. There are actually labia majora and labia minora. I fail to understand what your lack of knowlege has to do with people starving. I agree with proudly employed. Good luck to you sir and your ecucation. To: unemployed: What does " Rember" refer to? I will gladly teach you waht a verb is. I will also teach you how to conjugate the verb as I can tell you are in need.
  • by proudly unmployed Location: ga on Mar 9, 2011 at 08:19 PM
    i am loveing it. there is more to than life than working for the crooks in your government. if you people that think the unmployed are robbing you. cry about the 200 billion the filthy rich stole from you. boooohoooo i got all 99 and still have got a fraction back that they have robbed from me. boooohoooo waaaaaa
  • by Anonymous on Mar 9, 2011 at 08:17 PM
    Dear Wendy: I do not disagree with you whatsoever. Do you have ideas as to how to make it a more effective agency? We are fortunate to be able to exercise our freedom of speech. A very wise person ( my dad ) taught me not to complain unless you have a better way to accomplish things. HE has long since passed. ?But he went from poverty to riches and with his faith and values decided to donate his wealth. I was most humbled when his mother was in her latter stages of life. She qualified for 158.00 per month in social security benifits. With his sense of values she died with dignity this past year. Never received a food stamp, pension, medicaid, nor anything but the love of a family. We all took turns caring for her and providing for her. We did not have time to worry about other taxpayers taking care of my Grandmother. We did not protest either. Did not and will not complain. IF you are sincere , Wendy...give us an alternative.
  • by jerry Location: fl. on Mar 9, 2011 at 07:58 PM
    proudly employed- dont get all high and mighty to soon. your job is on the line toooo.no libia is the country i am referring tooo proudly employed. so which department of government do you work? WITH YOUR JOB SECURITY AND BETTER THAN THE REST ATTITUDE.
  • by wendy Location: leon on Mar 9, 2011 at 07:50 PM
    workforce plus? that is another joke on the people.
  • by Proudly employed Location: Tallahassee on Mar 9, 2011 at 06:54 PM
    To Jerry: Libya is the country I think you are referring. TO Unemployed: These protest are directed at the Florida Legislature and in no way affect your unemployed status in Georgia. You are invited to visit our Workforce Plus employment center and receive some basic computer, language, and grammar skills. You should have received them in your state but I understand they just fired the best Superintendant of Schools in the State.
  • by jerry Location: fl on Mar 9, 2011 at 04:55 PM
    WHAT IS LIBIA DOING TODAY? WE GOT TO GET INTO THAT WE CANT WORRY ABOUT STARVING TO DEATH AMERICANS.
  • by unemployed Location: ga on Mar 9, 2011 at 04:53 PM
    they know the economy is terrible and they are treating the people like they are a bunch lazy no good for nothing people. REMBER THEM AT ELECTION PEOPLE. i cant beleive they would do people like that. DID THE FILTHY RICH LOOSE ANY OF THEIR 200 BILLION IN TAX BREAKS? HAVENT HEARD 1 WORD ABOUT THEM. I TELL YOU PEOPLE YOU BETTER WAKE UP AND REPLACE THESE IDIOTS IN GOVERNMENT EVERY ELECTION YOU SEE WHAT A BUNCH LIERS AND BACKSTABBERS THEY ARE. THEY DONT CARE IF YOU STARVE TO DEATH.
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