On his first campaign stop in Miami as a gubernatorial candidate, Florida Rep. Charlie Crist (D) said that the race between himself and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R) is about what’s “right versus wrong” for the state of Florida. This week, the Department of Economic Opportunity announced that it would be withdrawing from the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation program on June 26th. What this means is that Americans that are currently unemployed would no longer be receiving $300 in assistance each week. In response to the announcement, Crist slammed the decision, calling it “heartless leadership by Gov. Ron DeSantis.”
Speaking to reporters in Miami, Governor DeSantis shared that the state is shifting the unemployment program back to normal because the Sunshine State now has nearly half a million job openings. He added that “the jobs are there,” and that the state is “proud of the fact that we’ve got a lot of economic momentum.” Moreover, “now we’re transitioning from relief in the midst of a crisis to now having the more traditional reemployment outlook.”
According to April’s labor statistics, the private sector hired 18,800 workers, and there are also 460,000 online jobs postings.
Florida Rep. Dane Eagle (R), the DEO Secretary, credited DeSantis with the economic growth.
“Florida’s employers are also seeing employment growth, as more Floridians, including some who completely left the work force, are now eagerly reentering the work force,” Eagle commented. “Transitioning away from this benefit will help meet the demands of small and large businesses who are ready. To hire and expand their workforce,” he added.
However, not everyone feels that this is the right decision for this time.
Crist, a former Governor of Florida, criticized DeSantis for cutting benefits.
“This is heartless leadership by Gov. Ron DeSantis, who seems more interested in scoring partisan points than taking care of Floridians,” he expressed, adding that “cutting. Unemployment benefits, just as our state and nation are getting out of a historic crisis, is the height of irresponsibility and will slow our economic recovery.”
Crist further expressed that “with this decision, Gov. DeSantis is doubling down on Florida’s disgraceful unemployment system that effectively punishes Floridians for falling on hard times, paying one of the lowest rates in the country, and tangling regular Floridians in pointless red tape.”
The Florida lawmaker believes that “Florida deserves better,” and “Floridians deserve a Governor who cares for the people and listens to what they need – and that’s why I’m running for Governor.”
Most recently, Crist picked up an endorsement from Florida Rep. Kathy Castor (D).
I'm excited & honored to have @KathyCastorFL's endorsement! Kathy is a fighter for our environment and our families, and together we'll work to build a Florida where opportunity is there for everyone.https://t.co/GVZjgN8Tqo
— Charlie Crist (@CharlieCrist) May 24, 2021
Crist excitedly announced her endorsement and praised the Florida Democrat, calling her “a fighter for our environment and our families.”