Armed with picket signs and loud voices, Florida's unemployed came here to fight back. Namely, against republicans, many of whom complain unemployment benefits are too generous.
Dozens of protesters held a rally on the capitol steps, accusing the GOP of cutting the budget at the expense of Florida's most vulnerable. All the while, the state house opened debate on a bill that would cut six weeks of unemployment benefits. It would also tighten eligibility, preventing people who have been fired for new kinds of misconduct from collecting a weekly check. Another bill goes even further, mandating that benefit recipients take any job that comes their way, regardless of how much it pays. Dennis Maclaren traveled here all the way from Orlando, with one goal.
He says he wants "to let Rick Scott know I'm not lazy, I'm not a malingerer, and I want him to know that I'm willing to work, I want to work, but when there's a hundred people lining up for that same job washing dishes, the facts he's giving people are wrong"
That republican house bill is now teed up for a final vote, potentially as early as Thursday. GOP leaders in the senate are pledging to act quickly, too.