|Published:||Jul 16, 2010 12:48 AM EDT|
|Updated:||Jul 15, 2010 4:59 PM EDT|
Five thousand Floridians a day are losing their unemployment benefits, while Congress delays voting on an extension.
This week the number of Floridians who have exhausted their benefits is expected reach 200-thousand. But there is still hope for jobseekers.
The US Senate could vote as early as Monday to extend benefits once again… giving desperate jobseekers more support while they look for work.
But even if federal unemployment benefits are extended it won’t help Florida jobseekers unless the state legislature takes action soon.
That’s because lawmakers wrote a June 5th cut off date into law for jobseekers trying to receive extended benefits.
The AFL-CIO, one of the state’s biggest labor unions, wants lawmakers to change or remove the date from the statutes when they come back to Tallahassee next week for a special session on oil drilling.
Mike Williams of the AFL-CIO says, "There’s very little cost to the state of Florida as of administratively. Everyone who was on the roles will be put back on those roles. If they’re working they’ll come off those roles, and it’s completely funded by the feds.”
John Hall, with the Florida Center for Fiscal and Economic Policy, says if benefits are extended and the state doesn’t fall in line… Florida could lose out on as much as 290 million dollars in economic growth. “What we are mostly afraid of is it will keep Florida in a recession longer without those benefits.”
State Legislative leaders are waiting to see if Congress approves the extension before they make up their minds about including the issue in next weeks special session.