Via Twitter, journalist Gary Fineout just revealed that Gov. Charlie Crist will invoke “emergency powers” to correct a snafu in a Florida statute that is currently preventing Floridians from being eligible to receive recently extended unemployment benefits:
Governor uses emergency powers to say that Floridians can get extended unemployment benefits
Crist had been called on to do so by state Rep. Kevin Rader, D-Boynton Beach, who on Wednesday sent Crist a letter urging him to solve the problem, which had been ignored by the Florida legislature during this week’s short-lived special session.
Crist’s own Twitter account confirms the action:
Just signed Executive Order extending unemployment benefits period for Floridians who qualify for Federal assistance
State Rep. Rader just tweeted “Thank you Governor!…” along with a link to a Post on Politics story detailing Crist’s action. That piece quotes from a Crist press release: “I am committed to exercising my Constitutional duty to authorize the use of available federal funds to help out-of-work Floridians who qualify for this help.”
Read or download Crist’s executive order (10-170) here:
Rich Templin — communications director for the Florida AFL-CIO, an organization that called attention to the need for the statute fix at a press conference on July 15 — says he believes Crist’s decision was motivated by the official authorization for the federal benefits that came down yesterday evening. “Until Congress acted, there was no direct loss of benefits,” says Templin, calling Crist’s action “a huge win.”
In a fresh press release, Rep. Rader thanks Gov. Crist:
Having spent months urging the Florida Legislature to extend our eligibility for these important federal dollars, I would like to personally thank the governor. By responding to my request for an executive order making us eligible for the recently-passed federal extension, he has ensured that Florida’s residents will not be left behind.