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Central Florida Groups Call on Governor Ron DeSantis to Waive Certain Barriers to Unemployment Assistance Through 2020

Photo: Mediensturmer
Photo: Mediensturmer

More than two dozen Central Florida community groups sent a letter to Governor Ron DeSantis Friday, asking him to expand eligibility and improve benefits for Florida’s unemployment system. 

The letter signed by 26 social action groups including Vamos4PR calls on DeSantis to make various improvements to Florida’s unemployment program, including waiving work requirements and the waiting period for assistance through 2020. 

Director Maria Revelles says several of her constituents are still waiting on unemployment benefits after seven weeks.

“We really need the leadership to step up and really do the work that they have been elected and respond to the needs of the Florida community.”

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Jimmy Torres is the Director of the Puerto Rican Action Initiative, another one of the groups to sign the letter. He says without this extension some workers in the hospitality industry will have no choice but to leave Orlando.

"But for that we need compassion and we need to have a strategy and we need to have understanding in the legislature.”

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At a press conference in Doral on Thursday Governor Ron DeSantis said he was considering reinstating work requirements which he waived earlier in the pandemic. 

More than 221,000 Floridians filed for jobless benefits last week. In Orlando alone 100,000 Disney employees have been furloughed without pay since April.

Read the full letter here.
If you'd like to listen to the story, click on the clips above.

Danielle Prieur covers education in Central Florida.