Panel OKs Fla. unemployment stimulus bill

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) - A bill that would allow Florida to get an additional $444 million in federal stimulus money for jobless workers has cleared its first legislative hurdle.

The Senate Commerce Committee approved the measure (SB 516) on
Tuesday, but it's outlook remains bleak.

The bill has three more Senate committee stops and it's opposed by business groups.

A similar measure (HB 1333) has yet to move in the House, where Republicans, who control both chambers, are cool to the proposal.

The legislation would modernize Florida's unemployment compensation.

It includes a provision to count an applicant's most current job history that's now ignored.

That's expected to make about 27,000 more unemployed workers eligible for compensation.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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