Tell Governor DeSantis: Don't Take Away Vital Relief For Working Floridians!

Governor Ron DeSantis

Governor DeSantis recently announced that he will be ending the federal enhanced unemployment benefits that have been a lifeline for unemployed Floridians.

Florida has some of the worst unemployment benefits in the nation, for those that receive them in the first place, as most applicants won't receive a dime. Ending the extra $300 a week in pandemic assistance is a slap in the face to working people barely scraping by on these embarrassingly low benefits. Studies have shown that increased unemployment benefits don't keep workers from looking for work, but instead help keep our local economies solvent. Ending these benefits will pull roughly $700 million in stimulus funds out of Florida's economy!

Much has been made about Florida's "hiring crisis" with false claims that people are making more money to stay home than get a job. In reality, the pandemic has made Florida’s childcare, housing, and healthcare crises worse and this is keeping many out of the workforce. It has also reset our labor market with more and more looking for jobs that don’t pay poverty-level wages and could still be dangerous as we continue to crawl out of the pandemic. Most are still looking for steady, safe employment. Cutting these vital, lifeline benefits does nothing in the long run to strengthen our already hammered state economy and won’t force people back to work, just to the food lines.

Ending federal pandemic assistance is a short-sighted and mean-spirited piece of politically driven policy that does nothing to address the long-term issues facing our state and our working people. Join us in sending a message to Ron DeSantis by signing the petition below and stand up for our working families.

Sponsored by
Tallahassee, FL

To: Governor Ron DeSantis
From: [Your Name]

We, the undersigned working people of Florida, urge Governor Ron DeSantis to reverse his decision to end federal unemployment benefits for out-of-work Floridians. The federal enhanced unemployment benefits have been a lifeline for Florida’s working families, ending them is a short-sighted approach that will harm Florida’s most vulnerable families and serve only to shift federal tax dollars paid by Floridians to other states, robbing our struggling economy of hundreds of millions in economic stimulus.

The state maximum weekly benefit amount of $275 a week is one of the lowest maximum benefit amounts in the nation and most recipients won’t even receive that full amount. To make matters worse, the overwhelming majority of unemployed Floridians never receive a dime in state benefits due to our broken system that has led Florida to have one of the lowest recipiency rates in the country. Almost no one who is unemployed in Florida receives much more than the $300 weekly benefit amount afforded by the federal program even though some low-paying big businesses are saying overly generous unemployment benefits are keeping workers from seeking jobs. This move will not force Floridians back to work, it will only force them to the local food banks. The dynamics of Florida’s labor market have changed and punishing unemployed families will do nothing to force them back into jobs that pay poverty-level wages. Florida still faces major challenges in terms of accessible childcare, affordable housing, and other factors that are contributing to lower-wage workers' inability to return to work, and these challenges should be addressed rather than starving people by eliminating access to this vital program.

Participation in this program costs the state of Florida nothing and in fact generates hundreds of millions of dollars that are spent at local businesses. Ending the program in our state simply kicks people when they are down to score political points with well-connected employers who want to continue paying poverty wages with no benefits. This is poor public policy that shows a lack of understanding of basic economic principles and a lack of awareness and compassion as to how people continue to suffer during this pandemic and the economic fallout from it.

We are calling on Governor DeSantis to reverse course and continue the enhanced federal benefits to help struggling working families and our local economies.