Monday, March 30, 2009

Sands: "The Time Is Right To Use Federal Stimulus Dollars"

Florida House Democratic Leader Franklin Sands issued the following statement today regarding the announcement that Florida’s unemployment rate reached 9.4 percent in February:

“Florida’s economy is in dire straits and the economic downturn is getting worse for Florida’s families,” said Leader Sands. “It is essential that our state and federal governments act on several fronts to stabilize the economy.

“The recovery package passed by Congress is a good first step, and those monies are beginning to flow. But we must do our part in the Florida Legislature. We should approve House Bill 1333, an unemployment compensation measure by Representative Kevin Rader, D-Delray Beach, and take other necessary actions to maximize the available federal stimulus dollars for unemployment compensation.

“House Bill 1333 deserves a fair hearing. It provides a pathway for Florida to get up to $1.1 billion in federal aid for jobless Floridians, including $444 million that could be used for the payment of benefits and/or to support the administration of unemployment or reemployment services.”

“It’s time for House Republican leaders to end their hesitation and political posturing. We ask them to join House Democrats in taking bold steps to ease the struggle for the burgeoning numbers of jobless Floridians.

“Florida House Democrats understand that our citizens want solutions and not vague or indefensible explanations about why we shouldn’t use Florida’s full and fair share of economic stimulus dollars.

“This is not a time for fear. Rather, we believe this is a time for courage and hope. Difficult times like these require historic levels of cooperation---bipartisan cooperation. Thus, Republican legislators can work with us in developing the necessary statutory changes to maximize Florida’s full and fair share of federal economic stimulus for unemployment compensation.”

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