Department of Economic Opportunity

Lawsuit targets DeSantis administration for blocking extra federal unemployment benefits in FL

BY: - July 26, 2021

The DeSantis administration broke state law when it cut off enhanced federal unemployment benefits of $300 in June, according to a lawsuit filed in Broward County trial court. The complaint, filed on behalf of 10 Broward residents struggling to scrape by on unemployment compensation, alleges that Gov. Ron DeSantis and the Florida Department of Economic […]

No unemployment benefits boost yet for the jobless as Legislature winds down; state Senate remains hopeful

BY: - April 22, 2021

The good news is that Floridians who lose their jobs might be able to count on the state’s unemployment compensation system not to melt down like it did at the height of COVID-related unemployment. The bad news is that, with the Legislature due to adjourn next week, GOP lawmakers have refused to reassure those unemployed […]

Gov. DeSantis throws a monkey wrench into efforts to improve FL’s paltry unemployment benefits

BY: - April 19, 2021

There’s a new obstacle to increasing Florida’s unemployment benefits, which rank among the stingiest in the United States: Gov. Ron DeSantis “Increase benefits? Look, no,” the governor said when asked about the matter during a news conference Friday in Lakeland. “I think we get people back to work. You see or hear these stories about […]

FL Legislature 2021: Working families caught between economic crisis and pandemic

BY: - February 10, 2021

The least-fortunate of Florida’s working families are in trouble, in ways that Florida lawmakers have never faced before. Few could have imagined the coronavirus pandemic would persist for over a year, with hundreds of thousands of Floridians still, or again, unemployed and struggling. Hundreds of thousands are at risk of being disconnected from utilities and/or […]

FL jobless rate dives in August, amid ongoing COVID-19 pandemic

BY: - September 18, 2020

Unemployment in Florida fell dramatically between July and August, declining to 7.4 percent in August compared with 11.4 percent in July, according to a new jobless report released Friday. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that jobless workers drawing Unemployment Insurance benefits in Florida decreased from 1,136,900 in July to 753,300 in August, using […]

Gov. DeSantis’ lack of urgency on unemployment: Jobless workers still don’t have $300 supplement

BY: - August 26, 2020

From the East Coast to the West, from the Gulf Coast to Alaska, at least 30 states have signed up for a $300 federal supplement per week for jobless workers. But not Florida. In a state that has the lowest unemployment benefits in the nation, Gov. Ron DeSantis has thus far chosen not to provide […]


On FL’s Rainbow River, something nearly miraculous happened: A developer listened to reason

BY: - August 13, 2020

One of the most delightful ways to spend a summer day in Florida is to ride an inner tube down a spring-fed river. I’ve probably tubed down Marion County’s Rainbow River half a dozen times. Except for one time when I got turned around backward and nearly ran over a family of frolicking otters, that […]

‘Work search questions’ to get FL unemployment benefits lead to confusion, stress, and no payments

BY: - May 21, 2020

Confusion and obstacles blocking unemployment payments to jobless Floridians continued to mount Thursday, as two Florida senators explained that Gov. Ron DeSantis’ “waiver” of work-search requirements has been rolled back — unbeknownst to many applicants. The waiver may have conflicted with federal law, State Sen. Randolph Bracy said in a conference call Thursday. “The work-search requirement […]

COVID-19 highlights a particular vulnerability for Florida: Its regressive tax system

BY: - May 12, 2020

One of the lures that attracted tens of millions of newcomers to Florida since World War II — other than the beaches, warm weather, and all that — is its status as a low-tax haven. Especially its lack of a state income tax and moderate property taxes. That’s hurting us as the state makes its […]

Gov. DeSantis hails his first-year accomplishments, but your view may vary

BY: - December 23, 2019

Things went swimmingly for Florida during 2019 – at least, judging by year-end summaries issued by the governor’s office and state agencies. Aides to Gov. Ron DeSantis issued a long list of accomplishments for his first year in office in areas including education, economic development, health care, hurricane response and recovery, and public safety. He […]