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.

FL Senate Democrats urge changing eligibility date for jobless workers denied help because of a broken benefits system

By: - April 7, 2020

With jobless workers frustrated by a malfunctioning benefits system, Florida Senate Democrats want Gov. Ron DeSantis to use his emergency powers to start unemployment benefits for eligible workers at the time they lost their job. Under the current system, benefits do not begin until a worker can successfully submit an application to the Florida Department […]

FL Senate leader: federal emergency funding may help state avoid steep budget cuts in coming year

By: - April 3, 2020

Florida Senate President Bill Galvano says lawmakers may be able to avoid “significant budget cuts” in the coming year because of an influx of federal emergency funding related to the COVID-19 crisis and the state’s budget reserve funds. Lawmakers concluded their 66-day annual session last month, passing a $93.2 billion budget that included major pay […]

Top FL official apologizes for malfunctioning unemployment system; promises fixes, like old-fashioned paper application

By: - April 2, 2020

In an online conference with state legislators, the head of the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity today apologized for the massive problems with the state’s unemployment benefits system and promised fixes are on the way, including using a paper application. “I just need you to understand that from my heart, I apologize for what you’re […]

Unemployment claims soar in Florida as COVID-19 outbreak shuts down the state’s economy

By: - April 2, 2020

The COVID-19 crisis has tripled the number of Florida workers filing new claims for unemployment in the last week, according to a new report from the U.S. Department of Labor. Some 227,000 jobless workers in Florida filed for unemployment benefits in the week ending on March 28, the report shows. It compares to the 74,313 […]

FL to remove 1-week waiting period for jobless workers seeking benefits; application process is a nightmare

By: - April 1, 2020

While thousands of jobless workers remain frustrated by Florida’s cumbersome unemployment benefits application process, the state is waiving a requirement that could get benefits to people more quickly during the coronavirus crisis. In an emergency rule published Tuesday, the Department of Economic Opportunity said it will not enforce a provision in state law that normally […]

Florida loses a federal appeals court ruling on the state’s felon voting law

By: - March 31, 2020

Update: Terrie Rizzo, chair of the Florida Democratic Party, called for the state to move forward with the implementation of Amendment 4 that would allow felons to regain their voting rights. “Floridians overwhelmingly voted to pass Amendment 4 over 500 days ago. Governor Ron DeSantis please do the right thing, stop the legal maneuvering, and […]

Amid coronavirus fears, FL voters post low presidential primary turnout; what will happen in November?

By: - March 31, 2020

Fewer than one out of every three Republican and Democratic voters participated in the March 17 presidential preference primary, state election records show, the lowest primary turnout since 2004. Overall, only 30.24 percent of the 9.9 million Florida voters registered as Democrats or Republicans voted in the presidential primary, the results show, as the coronavirus […]

FL Democrats launch texting campaign to encourage more voters to vote by mail

By: - March 30, 2020

With the COVID-19 crisis casting doubt on in-person voting, Florida Democrats plan to text more than 1 million voters this week encouraging them to register to vote by mail in the upcoming elections. “Florida Democrats have long invested in boosting vote-by-mail turnout among unlikely voters, and this method of remove voting is increasingly important in […]

FL workers struggle to claim unemployment benefits, even as feds increase aid during COVID-19 crisis

By: - March 30, 2020

Maxine Jackson worked as a housekeeper at the posh St. Regis Bal Harbour Resort in Miami-Dade County until March 20, when she was laid off. Now Jackson, is a single mother raising five children, needs help in the form of unemployment benefits that Florida pays workers who lose their jobs through no fault of their […]

Floridians can expect financial help in the $2 trillion federal relief package

By: - March 27, 2020

UPDATE: State and local governments in Florida will receive an estimated $8.3 billion out of a $150 billion program in the $2.2 trillion CARES Act signed into law by President Donald Trump on Friday, according to an analysis from Florida TaxWatch. Based on population, Florida’s share of the aid will include $3.7 billion for local […]

COVID-19 puts the governor’s review of legislation and new state budget on the back burner

By: - March 26, 2020

The COVID-19 crisis has upended the normal review by Gov. Ron DeSantis of more than 200 bills and the $93.2 billion state budget that came out of the 2020 Florida Legislature. With the annual legislative session concluded a week ago, this would be the beginning of the process whereby House and Senate leaders begin sending […]

DeSantis defends himself as pressure grows over his stance on a shelter-in-place order

By: - March 25, 2020

With Democrats criticizing his decision not to issue a statewide shelter-in-place order, Gov. Ron DeSantis on Wednesday said he’s not sending a “mixed message” by imposing more COVID-19 restrictions in some areas of the state but not others. At a press conference at a state emergency management warehouse in Orlando, the Republican governor said in […]