TALLAHASSEE, Florida – Florida could apply for a loan from the US Department of Labor to cover the state portion of a plan by President Donald Trump to extend federal unemployment benefits and ask states to pay 25% of the money . Gov. Ron DeSantis said on Tuesday that the loan idea was under consideration.
“We’re looking to see what that would entail,” DeSantis said during an appearance at Florida State University. “My only concern is, you know, it’s obviously a tough budget time for us. And so, if I were to potentially have general income committed for this (unemployment benefits), then that would be something that would be very problematic, given our circumstances. So this case (from the Ministry of Labor) can give us a way. ”
Trump issued an executive order over the weekend that aims to redirect disaster relief funds from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to unemployment benefits. Under this plan, the unemployed could receive weekly aid of $ 400, the federal government providing $ 300 and the states responsible for $ 100.
The plan came after a federally funded weekly benefit of $ 600 ended in July. This money was in addition to regular state unemployment benefits. Florida has distributed just under $ 13.5 billion in state and federal benefits since March 15. The state provided $ 2.8 billion in money.
DeSantis said a second option that had been considered would be to use federal stimulus money. But he added that this option is not available because the money has already been designated. Another question is whether Trump’s order will be subject to legal challenge.
“I want to make sure there is no legal risk to us if someone disputes this,” DeSantis said. “Then we would be left on the hook. “