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Crist Signs Executive Order Extending Jobless Benefits

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Tallahassee, FL – Gov. Charlie Crist issued an executive order Friday making almost a quarter of a million jobless Floridians eligible for additional benefits. Margie Menzel reports.

This week, Congress passed and President Barack Obama signed a measure extending federal benefits for the long-term unemployed for another six months. But Florida's extended benefit program expired on June 5, and lawmakers had declined to extend it during the regular or recent special sessions. Mike Williams, president of the Florida AFL-CIO, credited Crist and the legislators who had asked him to act.

"It's just a great day," Williams said. "We've had so many calls from unemployed workers who have just recently lost their benefits and still looking for a job every day, or unemployed workers who are on the verge of losing their benefits."

The governor's executive order made the benefits retroactive to June 5, when the state law expired, continuing through Dec. 4.