Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is scrapping the federal unemployment boost of $300 benefits because the state pays its unemployed workers too little to meet a 25 percent matching requirement. Florida’s weekly payments max out at $275, among the lowest in the nation, but some people collect far less. The state would have to increase its benefit payments to meet the federal matching requirements.
Florida appears to be the first state to stop the federal program because of its cost.
About 368,000 Floridians are currently collecting state unemployment benefits.
Democrats have called on DeSantis this year to increase the weekly jobless payments and the number of weeks they can be collected, but DeSantis says he doesn’t have the power to alter the program. Florida Republican legislators have rebuffed Democrats calls to address the issue.
“It’s baffling,” said state Sen. Annette Taddeo, a Miami Democrat. “You are leaving on the money on the table. For people who claim we’ve got to get the economy going, guess what? One way to get the economy going is to make sure that people have food on the table and can pay their rent.”