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Democratic Lawmakers Call For Unemployment Reform After Disney Layoffs

Photo: Anna Eskamani

State Representative Anna Eskamani says since the federal government has ended coronavirus relief talks, it’s now up to the state to continue them.

Eskamani says that’s why she introduced a bill yesterday that would extend benefits to furloughed and laid-off hospitality workers. 

“That would increase the weekly benefit amount from 275 max to 500 dollars. That would eliminate this sliding scale that only provides 12 weeks of unemployment, bring it to the national average of 26. Create an alternative base period so more folks can qualify.”

Democratic Rep. Carlos Guillermo Smith called on the legislature to hold a special session to vote on aid. 

He says Trump’s decision to end federal coronavirus relief talks and DeSantis’ refusal to reconvene the legislature early showed their lack of care for theme park workers. 

“And Donald Trump and Ron DeSantis they don’t care. This is not a priority. If they cared we would be talking about relief for small businesses. Where is the relief? We would be talking about expanding benefits.”

So far, DeSantis and his fellow state Republicans have ignored Democrats’ requests for a special session.

Both lawmakers’ comments in Orlando came days after Disney announced they would lay off more than 8,000 part-time workers. 

If you’d like to listen to this story, click on the clips above.

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Danielle Prieur

About Danielle Prieur

Reporter & Fill-in Host

Danielle Prieur is a general assignment reporter at WMFE. You can hear her reporting on a daily basis on the station. She also fills-in as a host during the morning and afternoon drive times. Her reporting has been featured on NPR, Marketplace, Here & Now, and Vox. Danielle is originally from Rochester Hills, ... Read Full Bio »