How Republicans Are Waging Class Warfare In Florida
This shows you the alternate reality Florida Republicans live in. Tom Clendenning of the Florida Agency for Workforce Innovation testified before the Senate Commerce & Tourism Committee. Clendenning told the committee Florida could save $800,000 per year by adding five employees to the Agency for Workforce Innovation to investigate people who are not looking for work.
Sen. Don Gaetz, R-Niceville, said he wants to know how many Floridians are turning down jobs in favor of keeping their unemployment checks. Gaetz asked AWI to "distinguish between those who can't get off the couch ... and those who won't get off the couch," Gaetz said.
Chairwoman Nancy Detert, R-Venice, said unemployment becomes a "lifestyle" after six months. "We'd like your department to get rid of the slackers and malingerers," she told Clendenning.
It is obvious Clendenning just made up the $800,000 figure. Otherwise Gaetz and Detert would know how many so-called slackers there are. Clendenning is using Republican contempt for the unemployed to add five staffers to his department. If Clendenning was really serious he would tell the senators his office would have to hire workers to go out in the field and check up on people collecting unemployment. We are talking about a significant number of people the Agency for Workforce Innovation would need to hire. Put it this way. Do you believe Florida could conduct a Census check on people on probation with only five employees?
What makes matters worse is that Agency for Workforce Innovation is denying Floridians a legally required a six cent increase in minimum wage. Workers have filed a class action lawsuit against the Agency for Workforce Innovation.
On Monday, a lawsuit was filed on behalf of thousands of minimum wage earners in Florida against the state’s Agency for Workforce Innovation (AWI). The suit claims the agency has refused to raise the state’s minimum wage to keep pace with the rising cost of living, as required by state law since a constitutional amendment was passed in 2004.
The National Employment Law Project and Florida Legal Service say the agency is denying workers a six-cent raise to $7.31 an hour.
Although the Florida Supreme Court said that the law did not provide for decreases in the minimum wage in times of deflation, the plaintiffs say that have seen internal documents that show that AWI reduced the minimum wage in 2010 to $7.06 per hour from 2009’s $7.21 because of deflation that happened in 2008-2009. They say that the rate should have stayed at $7.21 But because Congress raised the federal minimum wage to $7.25, minimum wage earners didn’t suffer that “erroneous” wage cut.
Republicans are cutting services. One of the few things Republicans are willing to hire new government employees for is to search for people who enjoy collecting unemployment. Most people can't pay their bills with what they collect from their unemployment checks. Republicans have no idea how bad the job market is on how miserable it is to be unemployed. Yet they will not lift a finger to help the poorest employed workers. Republicans are actually trying to decrease the pay of the working poor. These people are really fucking sick.