Lloyd Dunkelberger

Lloyd Dunkelberger

Lloyd Dunkelberger has been covering Florida government for over three decades. He’s reported and edited in Tallahassee for the New York Times Regional Newspapers group, Florida Politics, and the News Service of Florida. He grew up in Jacksonville and Palm Beach County and got his journalism degree at the University of Florida.

More than 1 million FL workers file for unemployment, as pandemic continues and benefit system struggles

By: - April 23, 2020

Nearly 1.2 million jobless workers in Florida have filed initial claims for unemployment benefits, with more than a half million filing in the week ending April 18, the U.S. Department of Labor reported Thursday. Florida was second in the nation with 505,137 workers seeking unemployment benefits in the last week, as the COVID-19 outbreak closed […]

DeSantis’ handling of the COVID-19 crisis brings leadership challenges and political risks

By: - April 22, 2020

Few Florida governors have faced the leadership test that confronts Gov. Ron DeSantis. The COVID-19 outbreak is threatening the health and lives of some 22 million Floridians, while at the same time shutting down the economy in the nation’s third-largest state. A new independent poll shows Florida voters are, thus far, giving the Republican governor […]

The politics of coronavirus: GOP governor snubs Democratic Ag Commissioner from key committee

By: - April 20, 2020

Gov. Ron DeSantis’ task force to “reopen” Florida after the COVID-19 outbreak got off to a partisan start on Monday, with the Republican governor excluding the only Democrat holding a statewide office from the panel’s executive committee. DeSantis tapped Attorney General Ashley Moody and Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis, both Republicans, for the executive committee. […]

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DeSantis on budget vetoes: ‘We are dealing with something that is unprecedented and we’ve just got to be very responsible’

By: - April 17, 2020

Gov. Ron DeSantis signaled this week that he may have to aggressively use his veto power to help stabilize the new $93.2 billion state budget. Although state lawmakers ended their annual session in mid-March, including passing the new 2020-21 state budget bill (HB 5001), the Republican governor has yet to receive the bill. As of […]

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FL Republicans nearly double Democrats’ party contributions in the first quarter of 2020

By: - April 17, 2020

Florida Republicans nearly doubled the Democrats in contributions to their political parties in the first three months of 2020, new election reports show. The GOP, which controls the governor’s office as well as the majorities in the Florida Senate and House, reported $2.47 million in contributions from Jan. 1 to March 31, according to the […]

As FL sales tax collections crash in a virus economy, it may be time to close sales tax loopholes to pump up cash

By: - April 17, 2020

The COVID-19 crisis will blow a financial hole in Florida’s state budget. That’s because Florida, without a personal income tax, relies heavily on sales tax collections to fund its government. Sales taxes were projected to provide about $27 billion out of the state’s $34 billion general revenue fund this year. But the coronavirus outbreak has […]

‘Horrific situation’: Jobless claims grow, but Floridians can’t access benefits from inept unemployment system

By: - April 16, 2020

Some 654,000 jobless Floridians have filed for unemployment benefits in the last month, with 181,293 filing initial claims in the week ending April 11, according to a U.S. Department of Labor report released Thursday. But many doubts remain as to whether the Florida numbers accurately portray the scope of workers seeking help after losing their […]

Florida Supreme Court set to use teleconferencing to hear two cannabis cases

By: - April 14, 2020

In a first for the Florida Supreme Court, the justices will hear oral arguments in two marijuana cases early next month using a remote video teleconferencing system, the court announced Tuesday. The May 6 teleconferencing arguments are another sign of the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak, which has closed most normal court procedures because of […]


ACLU: DeSantis backs law allowing only super wealthy, special interest groups “to have a say in our direct democracy”

By: - April 10, 2020

A major civil rights group has condemned Gov. Ron DeSantis’ decision to back a law to create new barriers for citizen groups trying to advance state constitutional amendments. The Republican governor signed the measure (SB 1794) this week, which adds more requirements for initiative campaigns seeking to gather voter signatures in order to put a […]

Nearly half a million FL workers have filed for unemployment in last 3 weeks; but FL system still troubled

By: - April 9, 2020

Nearly 170,000 jobless Floridians filed for unemployment benefits last week, bringing the total to 473,000 claims in the last three weeks, according to a U.S. Department of Labor report released Thursday. Florida’s 169,885 unemployment benefits claims for the week ending April 4 showed a decline from the prior week when 228,484 claims were filed, the […]

Sanders suspends his presidential campaign, leaving challenges for Biden in Florida

By: - April 8, 2020

Bernie Sanders’ decision to suspend his presidential campaign on Wednesday presents Joe Biden — the presumptive Democratic nominee facing Donald Trump — with a series of challenges in the nation’s largest swing state. Former Vice President Biden easily bested Vermont U.S. Sen. Sanders in Florida’s March 17 presidential preference primary, with 62 percent of the […]

DeSantis gets bill making it harder for citizen groups to advance state constitutional amendments

By: - April 8, 2020

UPDATE: Gov. Ron DeSantis signed seven bills into law on Wednesday, including a measure that creates new requirements for citizen groups collecting voter signatures in order to put constitutional amendments on the ballot. Here’s the prior story: Florida lawmakers have broken a drought by sending Gov. Ron DeSantis a bill imposing costly and more complicated […]