A group of about 50 unemployed workers and advocates marched on Tallahassee Tuesday to urge Gov. Charlie Crist to sign an executive order changing the way the state calculates unemployment benefits to what is known as the "alternative base" -- which is used in some other states. Advocates say it could mean as many as 44,000 Floridians who lost jobs in part-time work, those with dependents and workers who left jobs for family reasons to be granted unemployment benefits.
"Obviously, my heart bleeds for you,'' Crist told them, at a meeting outside his office. He said he is asking the Florida Department of Labor if it is possible to adjust the rule "to be of help to you."
Democrat Alex Sink, who is running to replace Crist, was asked if she supported the workers' request for the change. Her answer: "I have to study it" because it will have an impact on the ability of businesses to pay.