unemployment benefits

Rep. Mike LaRosa (St. Cloud)
Florida House of Representatives

The Department of Economic Opportunity believes it needs access to the state driver’s license database to stop reemployment assistance fraud.  House lawmakers are one step closer to giving the agency what it wants.

Rep. Pafford Calls Fellow Lawmakers Tone Deaf

Oct 14, 2015

The Florida House Minority Leader is calling his fellow lawmakers tone deaf. Democratic Representative Mark Pafford of West Palm Beach says the state is suffering from a lack of leadership.

“How dare we say we are doing anything for the people of Florida when year after year we fail. We are spending 25 weeks in Tallahassee because we’ve spent so much time doing nothing? And we’ve got to keep coming back and trying,” he said.

Appealing for unemployment compensation could become more a more localized process, if a bill making its way through the Florida Senate becomes law. The bill would create 24 regional offices where employees could appeal their rejected unemployment claims.

The bill’s sponsor, Sen. Nancy Detert (R-Venice), says it’s aimed at cutting out bureaucracy from the process of collecting unemployment benefits. The roughly 120,000 Floridians who appeal for their benefits each year would be appealing to their local peers rather than to a state agency far away.

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) - Gov. Rick Scott appointed his top lawyer to head the Florida agency that oversees unemployment compensation and economic development.
Scott on Thursday named Jesse Panuccio, the governor's general counsel, to the post following the sudden resignation of Hunting Deutsch amid questions about jobless benefits he had received before he was hired about eight months ago.
Scott also appointed outgoing State Attorney Peter Antonacci of West Palm Beach to replace Panuccio as his general counsel.

Governor Rick Scott will have to find another Jobs Czar for the third time in less than a year, after Hunting Deutsch abruptly resigned his $140,000 job running the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity.

Deutsch, a former banking executive, drew controversy recently following revelations in the Florida Current that he had collected state unemployment benefits between 2009 and 2011. He was in Europe part of that time.