TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) - Florida unemployment compensation
benefits are increasing by $25 a week due to federal stimulus

The higher rate went into effect Sunday under an agreement that
Gov. Charlie Crist signed with the U.S. Department of Labor.

It'll bring $345 million in federal money to Florida through the
end of the calendar year.

Benefits are based on a worker's prior earnings and last year
ranged from $32 to $275 per week.

Some of Crist's fellow Republican governors say they may turn
down the unemployment cash because they they'd have to raise state taxes to pay for the new benefit when the federal money runs out.

Crist, though, says it's needed to help Floridians get through
tough times.

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